Community Leaders Demand U.S. Rep. Fred Upton Answer for His Vote to Cut the EPA
(Kalamazoo, MI) — Today, community leaders and elected officials demanded U.S. Representative Fred Upton answer for his vote to cut funding to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which undermines lifesaving air and water protections.
In a press conference hosted by Clean Water Action, speakers emphasized that Representative Upton’s vote to cut $800 million from the EPA and Department of Interior was not only an endorsement of President Donald Trump’s “Dirty Budget,” but a vote that could imperil the cleanup of the Kalamazoo River and the Great Lakes.
"One of the EPA's most sacred responsibilities is to clean up contaminated sites left behind in our neighborhoods after industrial polluters leave town. The EPA needs more money, not less, to combat pollution to protect public health in our communities. If Representative Upton has his way, drastic cuts to the EPA budget will threaten the health and well-being of thousands of people in Kalamazoo County and millions more around the country,” said Kevin Wordelman, Kalamazoo County Commissioner.
Speakers called on Representative Upton, who has taken numerous donations from the oil and gas industry, to protect Michiganders’ health. Lives are at stake, especially for the one million Michiganders who suffer from asthma and for low-income and disadvantaged communities, which are disproportionally impacted by pollution and climate change.
“The reckless cuts to funding, staffing, and enforcement that are included in the proposed budgets from President Trump and the Republican leadership in Congress won't just put our air, water, and health at risk, they'll also put a greater strain on our state agencies and a greater burden on Michigan taxpayers,” said Mary Brady-Enerson, Michigan Director, Clean Water Action.
The cuts to the EPA are particularly devastating to the many Michiganders who want the water springs fed from the Kalamazoo River to have clean water.
Speakers concluded by calling on Representative Upton to protect the health of his constituents over corporate profit, unlike EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who has questionable relationships with fossil fuel companies, having taken nearly $350,000 in campaign contributions from the polluting industry.