EPA Funding Letter to Senators Capitol and Manchin

The LWV-WV and other organizations sent the following letter urging our Senators to support the continuation of the 2017 appropriations for key EPA programs that help West Virginia’s rivers and streams.

October 16, 2017

The Honorable Joe Manchin III                                   The Honorable Shelley Moore Capito
306 Hart Senate Office Building                                  172 Russell Senate Office Building           
Washington DC 20510                                                   Washington DC 20510                    

Dear Senators Manchin and Capito,

West Virginia Rivers Coalition and the undersigned West Virginia organizations, are concerned about the federal appropriations that designate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s allocations for state programs that manage the protection of water quality. We urge you to support the continuation of the 2017 appropriations for key programs that help West Virginia’s rivers and streams.

The U.S. House of Representatives appropriation for the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies bill reduced funding for EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program. The Bay Program is significant in its six-state cooperative effort that affects 180,000 miles of streams and rivers and 18 million people. We are pleased that West Virginia, which comprises the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, is part of that effort. We are also cognizant of the benefits of water clean-up programs in West Virginia supported by Bay Program funds. We believe the reduction of support for the Bay Program in the House appropriations bill will be detrimental to West Virginians in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. We request that you maintain the 2017 funding level of $73 million in the 2018 appropriations, and support last year’s requirement that $6 million of this allocation go for Small Watershed Grants and $6 million for Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grants. These grant programs alone have brought in approximately $5 million since 2010 for projects in West Virginia.

We also are concerned about policy “riders” added to the bill in the House. Restricting efforts to clean up our waters is not a benefit for our citizens and may cause costly future clean ups for the public to bear.  Here are a few examples that stand to place West Virginia’s waters at risk:

  • Prohibiting EPA from enforcing the Chesapeake Bay TMDL on states that are not implementing their own clean-up plans. This would shift pollution reduction responsibilities from states like PA to headwater states, such as WV.
  • Prohibiting EPA from ensuring mining companies are financially capable of cleaning up pollution that operations cause to the land and water.
  • Prohibiting the use of funds to issue any regulation under the Solid Waste Disposal Act that applies to an animal feeding operation.
  • Prohibiting the use of funds to require permits for the discharge of dredged or fill material for certain agricultural activities.
  • Authorizing the withdrawal of the Waters of the United States Rule without regard to any provision of statute or regulation that establishes a requirement for such withdrawal.

Thank you for considering these concerns. Please fully fund essential EPA programs and reject riders that put the future quality of our water supplies at risk.

Angie Rosser, Executive Director
West Virginia Rivers Coalition

George Santucci, Executive Director
New River Conservancy

Cynthia Ellis, President
West Virginia Highlands Conservancy

Charles Marsh, President
Sleepy Creek Watershed Association

Gary Zuckett, Executive Director
West Virginia Citizen Action Group

Sherry Evasic, President
Blue Heron Environmental Network

Julie Archer, Co-founder
West Virginia Surface Owners Rights Organization

Natalie Thompson, Executive Director
Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition

Judy Rodd, Executive Director
Friends of Blackwater

John Bird, Conservation Chair
West Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club

Brent Walls
Upper Potomac Waterkeeper

Jonathan Rosenbaum, President
League of Women Voters of West Virginia

 Senate EPA Funding Letter 10.16.17

Don’t Let the Senate Repeal the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act was a major step forward in health care for all and has already made a difference by improving health care access and coverage for millions of Americans. The House of Representatives took a step in the wrong direction by repealing the law that has already brought positive changes. The Senate could follow their lead very soon.

Take action now to tell your Senators to oppose repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

2010 WV Senate Candidates’ Debate

Here is the complete (4 parts) WV Senate Debate!

US Senate, November 2010 General

Candidates for US Senate

November 2, 2010 General Election

CANDIDATE Jeff Becker

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Berkeley

PARTY Constitution

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Born in Kentucky, raised in New England and Ohio. Bachelor’s degree in Welding Engineering from Ohio State University, Masters Degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Kettering University. Registered Professional Engineer. Thirteen years Ohio and West Virginia Air National Guard in aircraft maintenance. Current Chairman of the Constitution Party of West Virginia. Teacher in Berkeley County. WV resident since 1998.

QUESTION 1. What should the federal government do about the growing economic disparity between the middle class and the well-to-do?

ANSWER . The Federal Reserve Act, secretly foisted upon us on Christmas Eve, 1913, must be repealed. America must return to silver coin money as we had in 1964, and only gold and commodity-backed currency. Fiat paper “money” is the root of all inflation so Congress must stop putting it into circulation. The Glass-Steagall Act must be reinstated to end banking speculation.

QUESTION 2. How will you balance the continuing costs of the military with the costs of domestic needs?

ANSWER. Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution tells us that only Congress has the power to declare war, appropriations for armies shall only be for two years at a time, that the states are mostly responsible for training our militias, and that our Navy is paramount. Our founders only intended “General welfare” to mean well-being and happiness, not public assistance.

QUESTION 3. What measures should Congress enact to make our educational system more competitive with other developed nations?

ANSWER The Department of Education Organization Act went into effect in May of 1980 just as I was graduating from high school. I was able to receive a thorough and efficient education without any interference by the federal government. The word “education” appears nowhere in our Constitution, so the best thing Congress can do here is to repeal Public Law 96-88.

CANDIDATE Jesse Johnson

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Kanawha

PARTY Mountain

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Lobbyist, Freelance Writer and Lecturer on Political and Environmental issues. Former UN expedition leader, actor and filmmaker. Has spent a decade mobilizing the Mountain Party’s growing strength as the nominee for Governor in 2004 and 2008, making WV History by earning over 31,000 votes or 4.6% voter support and the only ‘third party’ candidate ever endorsed by The Sierra Club.

QUESTION 1. What should the federal government do about the growing economic disparity between the middle class and the well-to-do?

ANSWER . We should stop with corporate welfare for industries that are realizing record growth and more importantly profit and incentivize research and development as well as renewable and therefore sustainable industry. We must design, build, ship, modify and trade. These have always been the cornerstones of economic prosperity. Tax breaks for the rich have not and will not revitalize this economy.

QUESTION 2. How will you balance the continuing costs of the military with the costs of domestic needs?

ANSWER. I will fight to cut military spending. Its appropriations are greater than all of our neighbors ‘potential threats’ put together. Last months Treasury statement shows that one in three of taxpayers dollars go to DOD. Every administration asks for more as does Congress. We have no conventional enemy of significant threat militarily. This waste must stop. Nation building starts here.

QUESTION 3. What measures should Congress enact to make our educational system more competitive with other developed nations?

ANSWER State and federally subsidized schools must provide to the citizens of this country, free life-long learning to empower our nation and its competitiveness in our world. Our public airwaves and library systems must be an integral part of our institutions of learning, working symbiotically to “…promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…”

CANDIDATE Joe Manchin III

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Marion

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

As West Virginia’s 34th governor, Joe Manchin has cut taxes, created good jobs and got our financial house in order. He is from Farmington, W.Va. and served as a state legislator from 1982-1996 and as Secretary of State from 2000-2004. Joe is a pilot, outdoorsman and motorcyclist. He and his wife, Gayle, have three children and seven grandchildren. Visit www.joemanchinwv.com

QUESTION 1. What should the federal government do about the growing economic disparity between the middle class and the well-to-do?

ANSWER . In this time of recovery, we must first get out nation’s financial house in order and cut wasteful spending, just like we have done in West Virginia. We need to make capital available to businesses willing to create full-time jobs with livable wages and benefits. We must focus on spurring private investments.

QUESTION 2. How will you balance the continuing costs of the military with the costs of domestic needs?

ANSWER. We have to make sure our soldiers in the field have the tools they need to do their jobs – it’s the least we can do given their dedication and sacrifices. Once we bring our combat commitment in Afghanistan to a close, we will have the opportunity to reevaluate our defense spending with an eye towards deficit reduction and domestic needs.

QUESTION 3. What measures should Congress enact to make our educational system more competitive with other developed nations?

ANSWER We must enact education reforms, because every child deserves a quality education. I support the federal Race-to-the-Top initiative, which sets performance and results as priorities. There is too much bureaucracy that prevents our educators from being innovative in the classrooms. States and their educators need flexibility. The federal government must set good examples so that states can adopt proven programs.

CANDIDATE John R. Raese

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Monongalia

PARTY Republican

Candidate did not reply