Diane R. Miller: Playing politics with air, water | SteamboatToday.com

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Diane R. Miller: Playing politics with air, water







On Sen. Cory Gardner's Facebook page you will find a collage of photos depicting the beauty of Colorado — a crystalline lake, the Maroon Bells, a field of wheat and a windmill all imply the senator's appreciation for the environment, sustainable energy, clean water and pristine mountains.

From his recent voting record, it is clear that nothing could be further from the truth.

Last Friday, Cory Gardner voted to approve Scott Pruitt as Environmental Protection Agency administrator. As Oklahoma's attorney general, Pruitt has filed over a dozen lawsuits to block regulations that would curb such things as mercury pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution that crosses state lines. Hundreds of former EPA staff have stated that during his tenure in Oklahoma, Pruitt had “shown no interest in enforcing environmental laws.”

Senator Gardner defends his vote for Pruitt citing the recent injustice of the EPA against plaintiffs in the Gold King Mine spill. He says that he has received assurances that Pruitt will right the wrongs of the EPA and ensure that, "those that experienced economic loss are fully compensated."

From this, we are led to believe that Cory Gardner had the best interests of Colorado and Coloradans in mind when he voted to approve Pruitt. However, just two weeks ago, Gardner voted to reject the Stream Protection Rule, which was designed to protect streams and waterways from toxic runoff from coal mines.

Gardner says his vote for Pruitt was meant to help Colorado hold the federal government responsible for errors made in trying to clean up toxic mine waste. Yet he rejected a bill that would keep mines in Colorado and elsewhere from polluting in the first place.

Cory Gardner is playing politics with Colorado's air and water. Like Scott Pruitt, he receives considerable campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry (over $1.2 million since 2013). The Gold King Mine spill is an excuse for him to vote for a puppet of the fossil fuel industry.

Perhaps Senator Gardner should substitute that photo of a windmill on his Facebook page with one of an oil well and a billowing methane flare.

Diane R. Miller

Steamboat Springs