Why did Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, vote to the gut the Clean Water Act? Is she in the clutches of big, dirty business, which opposes this almost 40-year-old law, proposed by a Republican president with bipartisan support in Congress, which has endured through Democratic as well as Republican administrations? A law that has been highly successful in protecting our drinking water? I have been very disappointed with Herrera Beutler. She caters to the far right and that is not how she represented herself when she ran for office.
In the larger picture, the Tea Party has emboldened the far right in an all-out assault on environmental laws, not for economics or cost savings, but because they despise environmental regulations. Some say it is libertarianism let loose. Whatever the cause, I have never seen an attack on environmental protection anything like this, not even during the Reagan era.
The Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Forest Service all stand guard over our natural resources. Are we going to let polluters take over our country? Big Business would like nothing more than a rollback of these laws of our land. I take comfort in having the EPA looking out for my best interests.