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The New Majority: We Can't Go Backwards Fast Enough!

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03 March 2011, 2:45 PM
Reversing commonsense progress is the new favorite pastime of House leaders
Rep. Fred Upton

"Doh!" should be the motto of the new majority in the House, but here's one from House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) that might work as well: "The New Majority - Plasticware Is Back."

Boehner tweeted this, or should I say taunted this, on Monday, boasting about a move orchestrated by him and his GOP colleagues in the House to undo the efforts of his predecessor Rep. Nancy Pelosi to green the Capitol. As my colleague Tom Turner revealed today,  Pelosi transformed Capitol cafeterias by bringing in environmentally friendly foods and serving utensils. This week, Boehner and his buddies in Congress did away with the biodegradable dishware and brought back foam cups. The folks in Congress are now years behind most school districts and eateries in this country. Cue the applause for Mr. Boehner and his cohorts.

Another "Doh!" moment has been slowly playing out in the House for the last two months. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) has been leading the charge in the House to stop the EPA from limiting the carbon dioxide pollution of the nation's biggest polluters.

Word is that Upton will introduce his bill today (3/3) in the House. Never mind the Supreme Court ruling in 2007 that the EPA must limit this pollution under its Clean Air Act requirements. And never mind the science that backs up the need to begin controlling industrial emissions of this harmful pollutant.

Well, these days, the ability to ignore science is pretty much a job requirement for House Republican leadership -- but what about ignoring your own constituents, the people who who hired you? Mr. Upton embarrassingly forgot to check with the people who voted him into office before setting out on his mission. A recent poll shows that a huge majority of voters in Rep. Upton's Michigan district -- 62 percent -- oppose his efforts to block the EPA from limiting carbon dioxide pollution. Only 38 percent agree with him. Nationally, the broad American public is on the same page, according to a poll by the American Lung Association:

  • 68 percent say that Congress should NOT stop the EPA from enforcing clean air standards, including limits on carbon dioxide pollution
  • 77 percent of Americans support stricter limits on carbon dioxide
  • 69 percent (including sizeable majorities of Democrats, independents and Republicans) agree that “scientists at the EPA should set pollution standards, not politicians in Congress”

No matter how you cut it, Americans overwhelmingly support limiting the carbon dioxide pollution of the country's biggest polluters, and they support letting the EPA do its job.

Now, if only the politicians would listen. Do your part to make them listen.

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