Front Porch Blog

Cheating Democracy: Suspending Your Right to Clean Water

By Rachel Goss
Appalachian Voices Development Associate / Director of Foundations, 2011

The coal industry’s war on water got another boost on June 22nd, when the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act (HR 2018). The bill, resonant with blatant disregard for scientific data and human health, would effectively remove the federal government’s ability to regulate water, and place that regulatory power firmly in the hands of the state.

Just this week, leading figures in the US House of Representatives have added insult to injury by attempting to fast-track HR 2018, pushing forward a motion to “suspend the rules” and thus refusing to let the democratic process play out fairly. A little known loop in the legislative process, the House’s ability to issue a rule suspension removes procedural and other regulations that would stop or slow the House from considering a piece of proposed legislation. In order to suspend the rules, 2/3 of the House’s Members must be present, and if this majority votes in favor, the bill is considered passed.

For HR 2018, with 435 members currently in the House, only 145 Representatives would have to be present to vote against the motion and stop the fast tracking of a direct attack on Americans’ right to clean, healthy water. You can help us protect the EPA’s ability to protect our water: call your Congressperson (202)-224-3121 today, and ask him/her to vote against The Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act (HR 2018) when it comes up for a vote on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. You can also take action against HR 2018 HERE.

Let’s start holding the coal industry accountable for polluting our most vital of resources, and show them – and their supporters in Congress – that corporate interests will not be allowed to supersede our democratic process.




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  1. Rozetta Mariotte on July 3, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Save our Clean Water

  2. rachael on July 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    test comment

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