The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


February 23, 2014

Leaders only care about your vote

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) has just recently released its annual rating of Congressmen and Senators.  LCV rated their voting record on environmental issues. As could be expected, Representatives Mario and Barletta along with Senator Toomey have miserably low ratings. Out of a 100 percent possible score, their 2013 scores were as follows: Rep. Marino, 7 percent; Rep. Barletta4 percent; and Sen. Toomey, 8 percent.

Their lifetime voting records are of the same magnitude. They serve their corporate masters well. There was a time when protecting the environment was not a partisan issue. Don’t we all want to drink clean water and breathe clean air? Don’t we all want to be able to go and enjoy the great out-of-doors? Richard Nixon, hardly a radical left winger, signed our major environmental laws.

Protecting the environment is about protecting public health. The biosphere is the basic infrastructure of our existence. Its destruction creates a risk for us all. But Barletta, Marino, and Toomey care far more about the health of their corporate donors than the health of their constituents. They will tell you they care about the environment, but then they always have a reason not to protect our air and water.

One of the basic reasons so many Republicans are anti-environmental in there voting is because they don’t want government telling corporations they can’t dump their wastes on the rest of us. But isn’t it a basic function of government to “promote the general welfare?” Maybe these men never read this in the Constitution. Think what hundreds of thousands of West Virginians have recently had to deal. Now we have a massive spill in North Carolina of toxic coal ash water. What are we going to leave our children and grandchildren if we are to allow corporations to externalize their costs by dumping their waste on us?

The standard response from the likes of these gentlemen is that we have to protect jobs. Have they ever cared when a corporation reduces the work force to increase corporate profits? Don’t forget Sen. Toomey was the mouthpiece of the Wall Street front group, The Club for Growth. A green economy can produce many jobs. Clean energy produces three times the jobs that the dirty fossil fuel energy produces. These men express their support for the dirty coal industry. Coal pollutions causes the deaths of many thousands each year and sends children to the emergency room. An economy that destroys the environment is morally bankrupt.

They may talk a good game about how they care about us, but their voting record says they care more for the wealthy and their corporations. They only really care about your vote.

Jack D. Miller,

Center Township, Snyder County

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