This just in: Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) admits that the industry has put him up to rolling back parts of the Clean Air Act. In this stunning quote from E&E Daily, he had this to say about the rollbacks of public health safeguards: "We recognize that there might be unintended consequences. But from my perspective, I still think that the support that we have out there in the industries that are affected by EPA, they would prefer that we move aggressively along both fronts, appropriations and authorization, even if there may be some temporary delay for them -- because they generally feel that it's such a difficult ordeal to get a permit, anyway." [Emphasis mine]
If that quote doesn't reveal his true motivations here, I don't know what does. He is doing the bidding of the industry, not his constituents. The fact is voters do not support his misguided efforts as you can see here and here.
In the past few weeks, we have seen several of these statements from Whitfield in the press.
On January 20, he let out that he would rather just get rid of those pesky public safeguards that his polluting industry buddies have to follow saying, "I would lean myself toward just taking the regulatory authority away from them."
In the National Journal, he said, "This is a much broader issue than the health of the American people and lungs and emphysema; it's how can we balance that in the global marketplace for jobs." He continued, "Ever since I've been in Congress, various groups on the business side, those entities that are creating jobs out there, have felt that the Clean Air Act is really -- that there are all sorts of presumptions in favor of the environmentalists."
After each of these ridiculous quotes, we called his office because we wanted to try and have a good relationship with the Chairman of the Energy subcommittee. We also knew the Congressman to be a fairly reasonable fellow based on past experiences. Both times, we were told that the quote wasn't exactly what he meant. I am not calling this time. No one gets misquoted this much.
I have news for Congressman Whitfield -- the industries crying out for your help didn't elect you. The people elected you.