Fear of a Clean Planet: Applied "Job Creation" and "Wage Enhancent"

by Marissa Moncada

Unbeknownst to most Americans, the Republican-led 104th Congress is
waging a secret but deadly war on the environment. Prior to the
election, little if anything was said about the environment, but the
Republicans had a hidden agenda. Under the guise of creating jobs and
enhancing wages, Congress is attacking environmental legislation with
the following bills from the Contract with America:
	1. RISK ASSESSMENT (H.R. 9, Title III): Imposes a 23-step
process on the issuance of all new regulations (environmental and
otherwise). Even those regulations that are badly needed to protect
our health, safety, and environment will be disallowed if they are
costly to business. This provision will cripple the regulation
process. The EPA said that regulations on lead would have been delayed
10 years had they been forced to follow this proposed procedure.  In
an attempt to quantify a dollar value for health, the government
estimates a person's "potential earnings," and assigns $4,588 per
child for each lost IQ point due to increased lead exposure. [Status:
passed House]
	2. PRIVATE PROPERTY PROTECTION/ TAKINGS (H.R. 925): Requires
the federal government to compensate landowners if the value of their
properties is reduced by 20% or more due to any of three environmental
laws: Endangered Species Act, wetlands protection, and water rights.
Agencies will have to foot the bill from their own budget, and would
be paying landowners just to follow the law. Ultimately, since
agencies will not want to bankrupt themselves, self-preservation
dictates that they will stop enforcing the laws. Who will then
compensate the American people for the loss of wetlands and endangered
species?
	3. UNFUNDED MANDATES (H.R. 5, S. 1): Provides that the federal
government cannot issue mandates to states unless they are fully
funded. This would include nearly every federal environmental law,
such as the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Although a loophole allows
about 2/3 of mandates to be exempt from this bill, most environmental
mandates will fall under this bill. This will allow state governments
to ignore Federal environmental and worker safety laws.
	4. MORATORIUM ON REGULATIONS (H.R. 50, S. 219): Dictates that
there can be no new regulations passed in 1995, and the ones passed
since November of last year be rescinded. This will set us back an
entire year in the push for a sustainable environment.

	Concerned that this year's Congress is attempting to
annihilate 25 years of environmental laws passed with bipartisan
support? Last fall the voters did not vote anti-Green: this is not a
Contract With America, it's a Contract ON America!  


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