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Environmental connections to public health >>

If you break it, you should pay for it

Friday, April 20, 2007

I wonder what would happen Congress decided it was high time corporate polluters and not the taxpayers should once again pick up the tab for cleaning up the messes they made at the thousands of Superfund sites across the country?

The White House almost never misses an opportunity to call for policies that allow the American taxpayer to keep more of his or her paycheck. But, when the Bush administration looked around for some good ideas on how to achieve this, reinstating the “Polluter Pays” tax on the industries responsible for the environmentally hazardous sites wasn’t even mentioned.

The Republican-controlled Congress let the fee on corporate polluters expire back in 1995, and since then all the money in Superfund has been spent, forcing taxpayers to pay the entire bill. Now that power has changed hands in Congress, Democrats and moderate Republicans might move to reinstate the fee so the big chemical companies and large manufacturers who dumped their toxins and left behind dangerous chemicals that have left millions of families exposed are once again forced to pay for their cleanup.

If Congress took action, we hope President Bush would put the public’s health ahead of the financial interests of those industries that are responsible for the contamination in the first place.

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