A Clean Water History Lesson

426_EPA_CleanWater_RallySign_03_x1a-1 - smallerBy Jon Scott , Clean Water Action Director of Corporate Relations – Follow Jon on Twitter (@JScottNH)

This post was originally published on We All Live Downstream

Richard M. Nixon (R) 1969-1974 (1972 Clean Water Act veto over-ridden by Congress, which passed the law and overrode the veto with strong bipartisan support. After veto attempt and unsuccessful attempt to embargo Clean Water Act funding, upholds the Clean Water Act)

Gerald R. Ford (R) 1974-1977 (upholds the Clean Water Act)

Jimmy Carter (D) 1977-1981 (upholds the Clean Water Act)

Ronald W. Reagan (R) 1981-1989 (upholds the Clean Water Act)

George H.W. Bush (R) 1989-1993 (upholds the Clean Water Act)

Bill Clinton (D) 1993-2000 (upholds the Clean Water Act)

George W. Bush (R) 2001-2008 (September 19, 2003, near the Clean Water Act’s 30th Anniversary, Administration officials announce planned assault on fundamental Clean Water Act protections for small streams, wetlands and drinking water sources. Resulting changes hamstring enforcement, jeopardizing drinking water for 1 in 3 Americans.)

Barack Obama (D) 2009-2017 (May 27, 2015 releases final Clean Water Rule to fix Clean Water Act loopholes, restoring most protections in place.)

The new Clean Water Rule issued by the Obama Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers restores most of the protections that had been in place during the Clean Water Act’s first three decades. One of the nation’s most popular and successful environmental laws, the Clean Water Act has enjoyed broad bipartisan support since its initial passage.

Only recently – within the past decade or so – has extreme anti-environment sentiment in Congress and elsewhere taken on such a distressing and singularly partisan bent. The Dirty Water Caucus, whose leaders seem determined to represent polluters’ interests over their own constituents’, is comprised almost entirely of Representatives and Senators from one political party.

Their virulent opposition to the common-sense, science-based Clean Water Rule is at odds with decades of established bipartisan support to #ProtectCleanWater. Even today, a majority of the public strongly supports the Clean Water Rule, across the entire political spectrum. It seems only the one party’s leadership and most of its elected officials have chosen the Dirty Water position, favoring the interests of a small group of powerful polluters.

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