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Matt Cartwright on Environment

 

 


Sponsored tightening restrictions on hydrogen sulfide emissions.

Cartwright co-sponsored BREATHE Act

Congressional Summary:This Act may be cited as the 'Bringing Reductions to Energy's Airborne Toxic Health Effects Act' or the BREATHE Act.

Proponent's argument for bill: (StopTheFrackAttack.org, July 2012 BREATHE Act Fact Sheet):

The BREATHE Act would close two exemptions in the Clean Air Act (CAA) that threaten the health of communities wrestling with oil and gas production in their backyard. The CAA established limits for major pollution sources; smaller sources of pollutants that are controlled by a single operator, located close to each other, are "aggregated" and considered as one source of emissions. Unfortunately, the CAA exempts oil and gas wells from aggregation. The BREATHE Act would apply the CAA to oil & gas production.

A 1993 EPA Report to Congress on Hydrogen Sulfide Air Emissions Associated with the Extraction of Oil and Natural Gas clear

Source: H.R.1154 13-H1154 on Mar 14, 2013

Require labeling genetically engineered food.

Cartwright signed Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act

Congressional Summary:

Discussion of pro/con (Huffington Post 4/25/2013):

Polls show that the overwhelming majority of Americans--over 90%--supports mandatory labeling of foods with GE ingredients. 64 other countries already require such labels. However, strong opposition from the agriculture and biotech industries has scuttled proposals for GMO (Genetically-Modified Organisms) labeling laws in the past. The most recent and high-profile of these failed attempts at a GMO labeling requirement was California's Proposition 37, which was narrowly defeated after opponents spent $50 million lobbying against it. "Unfortunately, advocates of mandatory GMO labeling are working an agenda to vilify biotechnology and scare consumers away from safe and healthful food products," a Biotechnology Industry Organization spokeswoman wrote.

Argument in opposition (Food Democracy Now 5/26/2012):

Exactly 20 years ago today, the first Bush administration declared genetically engineered foods to be "substantially equivalent" to foods that farmers had traditionally bred for thousands of years. With this single policy, the US government radically altered the food supply, introducing novel genes into our food that had never before been consumed by humans. Corporate executives at Monsanto colluded with elected officials to make sure that their new "products" were placed onto the market as quickly as possible. Two decades later, Americans are still denied the basic right to know what's in their food because of this infamous policy.

Source: S.809/HR1699 14_H1699 on Apr 24, 2013

Extend to 2023 Superfund hazardous waste cleanup.

Cartwright co-sponsored Superfund Reinvestment Act

Congressional summary: Authorizes the use of funds in the Hazardous Substance Superfund for environmental cleanup costs under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA). Provides that disbursements of the Hazardous Substance Superfund:

  1. shall not be counted as new deficit for purposes of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, or the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010;
  2. shall be exempt from any general budget limitations; and
  3. shall be available only for the purposes specified in CERCLA.
      Authorizes Superfund through Dec. 31, 2023.

      Proponent's argument in favor (Sponsor's introductory remarks): Last week, the House passed legislation [outlined below] to weaken and fragment the already underfunded federal Superfund program. I am reintroducing legislation to reauthorize Superfund taxes on polluting industries; and provide more funds to clean up toxic waste sites. The Superfund program has resulted in the cleanup of more than 1,000 toxic waste sites. In the majority of cases, EPA works with the parties who have been found responsible for the pollution and they pay for the cleanup. [My bill] will reinstate Superfund taxes [on oil, chemicals, and corporations] to their previous levels.

      Opponent's argument against: (Chamber of Commerce's July 29 2013 letter supporting those House-passed bills): The US Chamber of Commerce strongly supports HR2279, the "Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act;" HR2318, the "Federal Facility Accountability Act;" and HR2226, the "Federal and State Partnership for Environmental Protections Act." These three bills aim at modernizing CERCLA. HR2279 removes two impractical and unnecessary deadlines. HR2318 ensures that the federal government is a "good neighbor" when operating a superfund cleanup site. HR2226 would clarify that EPA must consult with the state when selecting a remedial action.

      Source: H.R.3870 14-H3870 on Jan 14, 2014

      Create database on algal blooms in the Great Lakes.

      Cartwright co-sponsored H.R.349

      Congressional Summary: A bill to create a database of information on the causes and corrective actions with regard to algal blooms in the Great Lakes, and tributaries to the Great Lakes

      Supporters reasons for voting YEA: Rep LATTA: "While quality work and research have been done to mitigate the effects of harmful algal blooms in our Great Lakes, a comprehensive information system does not exist. This information system would track and study the causes of toxin-producing algal blooms, the factors and conditions that cause them to bloom in excess, and the effectiveness of mitigation efforts to ensure these waters remain healthy."

      Opponents reasons for voting NAY: (Cleveland Plain-Dealer article 2/3/15): President Obama's proposed federal budget includes Great Lakes spending cuts. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) is the long-term plan to rid the Great Lakes of toxic pollutants. The plan strives to find ways to reduce runoff which can foul the water and create algal blooms that make drinking water harmful. The best evidence of the problem is last summer's algal bloom on Lake Erie--the water looked fluorescent green--that led to a ban on drinking water in Toledo. Protecting this resource requires a concerted, multi-party effort, proponents say. Yet such an effort had been lacking. The GLRI's $20 billion price tag was rejected as unrealistic as the United States was paying for other priorities including wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      OnTheIssues explanation: This bill had no opponents speak out; it simply died in Committee. This bill was intended to earmark SOME spending on algae blooms, despite the spending cuts to the larger GLRI. The implication is that members of Congress consider other spending more important than mitigating algal blooms.

      Source: Great Lakes and Fresh Water Algal Bloom Information A 15_H349 on Jan 14, 2015

      2012 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Environment: Matt Cartwright on other issues:
      PA Gubernatorial:
      Allyson Schwartz
      Mark Critz
      Michael Nutter
      Tom Corbett
      Tom Wolf
      PA Senatorial:
      Bob Casey

      Newly-elected Democrats taking office Jan.2015:
      AZ-7: Rep.-Elect Ruben Gallego
      CA-11:Rep.-Elect Mark DeSaulnier
      CA-31:Rep.-Elect Pete Aguilar(R⇒D)
      CA-33:Rep.-Elect Ted Lieu
      CA-35:Rep.-Elect Norma Torres
      FL-2: Rep.-Elect Gwen Graham(R⇒D)
      HI-1: Rep.-Elect Mark Takai
      MA-6: Rep.-Elect Seth Moulton
      MI-12:Rep.-Elect Debbie Dingell
      MI-14:Rep.-Elect Brenda Lawrence
      NE-2: Rep.-Elect Brad Ashford(R⇒D)
      NJ-12:Rep.-Elect Bonnie Coleman
      NY-4: Rep.-Elect Kathleen Rice
      PA-13:Rep.-Elect Brendan Boyle
      VA-8: Rep.-Elect Donald Beyer
      Seated in special elections 2013-2014:
      AL-1: Bradley Byrne(R)
      FL-13:David Jolly(R)
      FL-19:Curt Clawson(R)
      IL-2: Robin Kelly(D)
      LA-5: Vance McAllister(R)
      MA-5: Katherine Clark(D)
      MO-8: Jason Smith(R)
      NC-12:Alma Adams(D)
      NJ-1: Donald Norcross(D)
      SC-1: Mark Sanford(R)
      VA-7: Dave Brat(R)

      Newly-elected Republicans taking office Jan.2015:
      AR-2: Rep.-Elect French Hill
      AR-4: Rep.-Elect Bruce Westerman
      AL-6: Rep.-Elect Gary Palmer
      CA-25:Rep.-Elect Steve Knight
      CA-45:Rep.-Elect Mimi Walters
      CO-4: Rep.-Elect Ken Buck
      FL-26:Rep.-Elect Carlos Curbelo(D⇒R)
      GA-1: Rep.-Elect Buddy Carter
      GA-10:Rep.-Elect Jody Hice
      GA-11:Rep.-Elect Barry Loudermilk
      GA-12:Rep.-Elect Rick Allen(D⇒R)
      IA-1: Rep.-Elect Rod Blum(D⇒R)
      IA-3: Rep.-Elect David Young
      IL-10:Rep.-Elect Robert Dold(D⇒R)
      IL-12:Rep.-Elect Mike Bost(D⇒R)
      More newly-elected Republicans taking office Jan.2015:
      LA-5: Rep.-Elect Ralph Abraham
      LA-6: Rep.-Elect Garret Graves
      ME-2: Rep.-Elect Bruce Poliquin(D⇒R)
      MI-4: Rep.-Elect John Moolenaar
      MI-8: Rep.-Elect Mike Bishop
      MI-11:Rep.-Elect Dave Trott
      MN-6: Rep.-Elect Tom Emmer
      MT-0: Rep.-Elect Ryan Zinke
      NC-6: Rep.-Elect Mark Walker
      NC-7: Rep.-Elect David Rouzer(D⇒R)
      NH-1: Rep.-Elect Frank Guinta(D⇒R)
      NJ-3: Rep.-Elect Tom MacArthur
      NV-4: Rep.-Elect Cresent Hardy(D⇒R)
      NY-1: Rep.-Elect Lee Zeldin(D⇒R)
      NY-21:Rep.-Elect Elise Stefanik(D⇒R)
      NY-24:Rep.-Elect John Katko
      OK-5: Rep.-Elect Steve Russell
      PA-6: Rep.-Elect Ryan Costello
      TX-4: Rep.-Elect John Ratcliffe
      TX-23:Rep.-Elect Will Hurd
      TX-36:Rep.-Elect Brian Babin
      UT-4: Rep.-Elect Mia Love(D⇒R)
      VA-10:Rep.-Elect Barbara Comstock
      WA-4: Rep.-Elect Dan Newhouse
      WI-6: Rep.-Elect Glenn Grothman
      WV-2: Rep.-Elect Alex Mooney
      WV-3: Rep.-Elect Evan Jenkins(D⇒R)
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      Page last updated: Feb 25, 2016