Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve H.R. 2273, the Coal Residuals Reusal and Management Act. A roll call of those who voted in favor of the legislation has been provided by Irregular Times.
The bill will, if passed by the Senate and signed by the President, prevent federal regulations to protect American communities from toxic coal ash that has been stored in unsafe conditions. Why would members of Congress vote to allow lower standards of protection for Americans from pollution of the ground and water?
Money appears to have a great deal to do with it. We took a look at the patterns in campaign contributions (as reported by The Campaign for Responsive Politics in last year’s campaign to members of the House who voted for H.R. 2273, and to those who voted against the legislation.
U.S. representatives who voted in favor of the Coal Residuals Reusal and Management Act took, on average, more than twice as much money from electrical utilities than representative who voted against the bill. Coal money was even more strongly correlated with the vote. Representatives who voted to approve H.R. 2273 took, on average, seven times as much money from coal mining companies.
The likelihood that this pattern is a coincidence is not strong. An explanation is called for, and that explanation smells a good deal like corruption.