Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Two sides on the environment

So in 2001, King introduces H.R.2230 Title: To amend section 211 of the Clean Air Act to prohibit the use of the fuel additive MTBE in gasoline. This went nowhere with the republican congress. So on Thursday, April 21st an energy bill that would shield companies from lawsuits stemming from injuries from MTBE. Who voted for the energy bill? Why Peter King of course. He said of his 2001 bill "This substance can no longer endanger the health of our nation's residents. Please be assured I will continue to do all that I can to protect our groundwater from MTBE contamination." So what changed?
According to Newsday, King explained he "based his vote on pledges by GOP energy committee officials to consider an MTBE trust fund. He said such a fund could make immediate payments for MTBE pollution rather than forcing water suppliers to sue." Yup. Because that always works. "Pledge" to "consider" a trust fund doesn't sound like it's gonna happen. Back in 2002 Bush was trying to increase taxpayer liability for the Superfund trust. On the Hudson River, GE is fighting tooth and nail to avoid clean-up of PCB contaminants. And now the Town of Oyster Bay is suing defense contractor Northrop Grumman and the Navy to recover costs of environmental clean-up in Bethpage Community Park which was once part of the contractors property. When will the energy committee create a trust fund and where will the money come from. We shouldn't hold our breath that that will ever happen.
King tells Newsday "Being in the majority party requires judgment calls.... My judgment was to let the process go forward and see if we can come up with a trust fund that works."
And if they don't? Oops, too late.
Paul Granger, Superintendent of the Plainview Water Distict said "This really is disappointing, it's not helping New York, and I hope that our representatives rethink the picture here."
King in his usually prickly attitude replies to his critics "It's unfortunate when people shoot their mouths off and they don't know what they're talking about."
Suffolk County Legislator David Bishop says it best "I don't trust the trust fund... I guarantee you it will be pennies on the dollar as to what we can get in the court."
King vows to vote against the final bill if it does not include an MTBE trust fund, "If the final package is not satisfactory, I will vote against it as I have in the past."
So he voted for it before he's going to vote against it?

We'll see.

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