I’m in Kansas City this week, and it’s not just for BBQ and jazz and the Negro League Baseball Museum (though those are nice perks). I’m here because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)is holding the only public hearing on its scheme to strip Clean Water Act protections from millions of miles of streams and more than half of the nation’s wetlands.
We just got our hands on EPA's Dirty Water Rule and it's what we thought it would be -- a direct assault on the Clean Water Act. The Dirty Water Rule could have easily been written by the corporate special interests who have wanted to peel back protections since the Clean Water Act was passed more than 45 years ago.
Yesterday voters made it clear that we're done. Done with the status quo, done with our elected officials paying more attention to corporate campaign donors. Done with the stranglehold the oil and gas industry and other special interests have on our democracy. Done with nothing but rhetoric full of racism, fear, and prejudice from the President. Done with politicians offering talking points instead of solutions.
Despite the fact that I knew, in real time, how many members of Congress were voting to wipe out protections for our water, supporting an agenda to walk back action on climate, and putting the short-term profits of campaign donors before the needs of the public, I was a little shocked at the terrible scores.
President Trump and Acting Administrator Wheeler are ditching a carefully crafted program that addressed the climate crisis. They are putting our health at risk, and our future, by catering to their fossil fuel industry cronies. This is bad attempt to prop-up 20th century energy companies while trying to slow the transition to clean energy.
David knew that an organizer's job is never really done and he made sure everyone knew that. We can’t get comfortable just because you won one fight, or two or ten. We have to keep organizing and educating and engaging. We have to stay involved. It's the only way to protect our water, our health, our families.
If you want to make change, you have to get involved. It's an ethos we live by at Clean Water Action and it was embodied by one of our founding board members, Peter Lockwood.
Peter was a tax lawyer and a champion for clean water. He was a law clerk for Justice Thurgood Marshall during his first term on the Supreme Court. He traveled to the south during Freedom Summer and was part of the civil rights movement throughout the 60s. He helped found Clean Water Action in 1972 and was a guiding light for the organization for more than 40 years. He will be missed, sorely.