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September 15, 2009

The Blanche Lincoln Hits Just Keep Coming
Not to be All Blanche Lincoln, All the Time but this is really something. In a speech to the National Cattleman's Beef Association, one of the main agribusiness industry groups, your Senate Ag Committee Chairman double dipped in spectacular anti-environmental fashion. First up -- as reported in National Journal ($ub req'd) -- the climate bill:
...Lincoln she said does not support the House-passed climate-change bill because it "picks winners and losers" and "places a disproportionate share of the burden" on her home state of Arkansas in particular and rural and poor America in general. Lincoln said she will not support a climate change bill in the Senate if it is similar to the House-passed bill.
I'd point out that opposing climate change is also about picking winners and losers, Senator. And if we listen to you, Blanche, we all lose.

Lincoln strongly supports putting Max Baucus, Senate Finance Commitee chair, in charge of the Senate's version of climate change. Did I mention that he's also on the Ag Committee? Must've slipped my mind.

But Lincoln publicly harshing all over climate change isn't necessarily anything new. Lincoln publicly harshing all over clean water regulations? That's new.

Lincoln said a provision in the Clean Water Restoration Act passed by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that covers "the waters of the United States" rather than "navigable" waters needs to be amended so EPA does not interpret it to cover all waters.

"We've seen in the past where the imagination can be stretched," Lincoln said. "We don't need the imagination to be stretched right now."

Of course, the NYT just informed us that our imaginations regarding the danger posed to us by our nation's drinking water have failed us -- stretching them, along with the EPA's power over safe drinking water is exactly what we need. I think I'm going to be sick.

Keep in mind that Lincoln's opposition to EPA jurisdiction over "all waters" has nothing, in her mind, to do with drinking water. What she and her ag industry allies do have in mind is keeping the EPA well away from livestock factory farm manure lagoons. Is it her problem that they have an awful tendency to overflow into the water supply? As does raw liquid manure sprayed on fields. As does excess nitrogen fertilizer. As do pesticides and weedkillers like Roundup and atrazine. And if she has anything to do with it, none of that will be Tyson Foods, Smithfield Foods or the American Farm Bureau's problem either.

Wow. I didn't think you could do worse than House Ag Chair Rep. Collin Peterson in the -- for lack of a better term -- asshattery department. Apparently, I was mistaken.

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