by Aubrey Blanche, Circle of Blue
Publisher‘s Note: Circle of Blue looks at the voting record of vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan. It’s worth reading for Americans’ sake to know who they have who wish to lead them.
August 16, 2012 (TSR) – Representative Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican and running mate of presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, has a voting record on water and the environment that tilts heavily to favoring development and reducing federal investment over improving water quality and conservation, according to a Circle of Blue review.
During this first ten years in Congress, Ryan voted on eight bills that directly dealt with water issues. Most of the bills focused on funding for river protection, which he opposed. For example, in 2001 Ryan supported an amendment to the 2001 House Interior Appropriations bill that would have delayed implementing the Columbia Basin Ecosystem Plan to ensure that its provisions would not harm small businesses in the area. In 2003 he voted against an amendment that would have eliminated Clean Water Act exemptions for the oil and gas industry.
Rise and Follow
In 2009, Ryan’s two priorities—balancing the federal budget through major program cuts and encouraging business—began to push against serious conservation and clean water projects.
In the Environment Appropriations bill for the 2010 budget, Ryan voted against a 17 percent increase in funding – $420 million — for research on how to combat global climate change. He opposed providing $3.9 billion in clean water grants to rural communities.
Last year, Ryan supported the Clean Water Cooperative Act of 2011, a proposal to eliminate the basic standards for state water quality set by the Environmental Protection Agency. The proposal would have made it more difficult for the EPA to limit water pollution.
Ryan’s record also includes two votes from 2010 on relatively small regional water proposals: HR 3650 established the National Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Program to develop a plan of action to reduce harmful algae blooms.
HR 3671 authorized $6.25 million for a program to monitor the quality of the Upper Mississippi River Basin.
Ryan supported both bills, which passed the House by votes of 251-103 and 289-121, respectively.
Last year, Ryan voted in favor of the Flood Insurance Reform Act, which increased insurance rates, and was designed to save the government money and discourage development of flood plains. The change also has the effect of protecting sensitive habitats.
Originally published in Circle of Blue.