Letter: Not a victory
Rep. Tipton recently voted to repeal the Stream Protection Rule, which was approved in the later stages of the Obama administration. It was designed to protect streams and other small waterways from coal mining operations in Appalachia as a result of mountain top removal. This practice blows the tops off mountains and the coal companies then dump the debris into the river and streams below. Needless to say this results in all kinds of toxic material polluting the waterways. There are estimates that this practice covered up 1,500-2,000 miles of streams since the 1990s.
I was saddened to hear of this repeal, but certainly not surprised by Tipton’s vote. Whenever the powers that be in the oil, gas and mining industries come calling, Tipton obediently answers the call. After all, they are his largest campaign contributors.
We in the Roaring Fork Valley haven’t forgotten the draft legislation he put forth in regards to the oil and gas leases in Thompson Divide that were written word for word by an oil company. In addition to the extractive industries, he does the bidding for the American Legislative Exchange Council, which primarily forwards the wish lists of corporations to legislators.
I became aware of this repeal when I was looking at Tipton’s website, which headlined this as a “Victory for the West.” Say what?! I am still trying to figure how this is anything but a victory for the coal industry and a signal to continue desecrating the land and pollute the waterways with toxic materials.
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