Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Air & Waters Worth Protecting

I read many political ads telling me what is wrong with my representative, Mark Schauer. Some of my far-right friends suggest my politics are more “socialistic” than American, because I appreciate my government being strong enough that it intervenes on my behalf and works at keeping a balance of power between people like me and the Corporate Controllers.

YES, I like it when my government steps in to protect against pollution of my air and water; I see that as a proper function of government of, by, and for the people. It allows 5’ 7” citizens (guards) like me to play in the same basketball game as the 7’ Corporate giants; it keeps our democratic life in balance and makes life in America the kind of democracy it ought to be, rather than letting "free market" (greed) run rampant. This is about fairness not about socialism, which none of us wants.

In reply to those who spread so many lies about -socially responsible legislators like Mark, I add my support and post his letter of response. Without legislators like you our democracy would be one giant corporation--a huge feudal estate, no different from the days of the divine right of kings et al. October 20, 2010. Business and Corporate interests have no more divine right than did the kings of the feudal ages centuries ago, before Americans rejected the right of divine kings in favor of our founding fathers.

Following is Mark’s letter:

Mr. Wayne M. Warner
43 New England Ave
Battle Creek, Michigan 49014-4344
Dear Mr. Warner:
Thank you for contacting me regarding S. 3466, the Environmental Crimes Enforcement Act of 2010. I appreciate hearing from you on such an important issue.

As you know S.3466 was introduced on June 9, 2010 by Sen. Patrick Leahy and was reported out of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary to the Senate floor on June 24, 2010. The Senate has not taken any further action on this bill.

This legislation aims to hold oil and other companies responsible for environmental crimes by increasing the penalties for the harm to the public and environment under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. S.3466 will also protect victims of environmental crime by mandating restitution for criminal violations of the Clean Water Act, including those resulting in the loss of human life, which currently is only discretionary under current law.

Like you, I believe we need to hold companies accountable for any damage they cause to communities and the environment. That is why I introduced legislation in response to the slow notification of the recent Enbridge oil spill. My legislation H.R. 6008, the Corporate Liability and Emergency Accident Notification (CLEAN) Act, which passed the House on September 28, 2010, aims to ensure companies notify the National Response Center within an hour of discovering a reportable hazardous release incident such as an oil spill and increases federal penalties for spill violations.

Companies need to accept responsibility for their actions take the proper steps in reporting major incidents to the proper federal agencies to ensure the safety of the community. Should similar legislation to S.3466 be introduced in the House, I will be sure to monitor its developments and keep your thoughts and concerns in mind.
Again, thank you for contacting me. To receive updates on this and other issues, please visit my website at If you have additional questions or concerns
in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Mark Schauer
Member of Congress

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