Who is Elise Stefanik representing? Many letters have criticized Elise’s voting record. Wanting to make up my own mind, I decided to look into one of the “wrong” votes listed in a recent letter.
H.J. Res. 38 was a resolution to eliminate the Stream Protection Rule, which addressed the impact of surface coal mining operations on surface and ground water – our rivers, lakes and streams. Surface coal mining includes strip mining, open-pit mining and mountaintop removal mining. Surface mining does nudge up coal mining profits a bit. It also causes greater pollution of our water. A “yes” vote erased that rule. Elise voted “yes,” allowing for greater pollution of our ground and surface water.
New York produces no coal. But Pennsylvania produced over 60,000,000 tons of coal in 2014. We share a long border – and a lot of water – with Pennsylvania. Mother Nature is no respecter of state lines. We should expect to see increased pollution in our drinking water, in our wells and reservoirs.
New York has two remaining coal fired power plants. One is scheduled to convert to natural gas; the plan is to have no coal fired plants by 2020. There is nothing to be gained for New Yorkers by eliminating this rule. In fact, from an environmental standpoint, there are serious adverse effects. Why did Elise vote in favor of disallowing this rule?
Tedra Cobb is acutely conscious of the need to protect our natural resources, including our waterways. She will defend the EPA and other agencies charged with protecting those natural resources against special interest groups pressuring our government to make choices that affect all of us negatively, now and into the future. I urge you to go to her website to learn more.
Jim Hudon, Queensbury