Background: Republican Rep Bob Goodlatte (Va – 6th) has proposed an amendment to an appropriations package which would forbid the EPA from using federal funds to take action against bay states that fail to meet pollution-reduction targets set by the EPA and agreed-to by the states. The amendment is to the 2019 Interior, Environment, Financial Services and General Appropriations Act. The amended bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives 213 to 202. The same bill (without the Goodlatte Amendment) was passed by the US Senate 92 to 6.
Goodlatte’s rationale. Rep Goodlatte previously explained his rationale for restricting the EPA’s authority over the Chesapeake Bay cleanup on his website. You can view that explanation here and here. (Hat Tip: Jim Bacon). However, it should be noted that the first link was from 2014 and the second from 2016. One would think that Goodlatte’s most recent attempts to curtail the EPA’s enforcement of the TDML Blueprint would require an updated explanation of intent … especially in light of the continued success of the Bay cleanup effort since EPA enforcement began.
Media reaction to the 2018 amendment. In order to get the essence of the media reaction to Bob Goodlatte’s proposed amendment I performed an internet search with the argument “Goodlatte & Chesapeake Bay Cleanup.” There were 42,800 results. Here are the top 10 written in 2018 pertaining to Goodlatte’s latest attempt to restrict the EPA from enforcing the TDML Blueprint:
- Measure to weaken EPA enforcement of bay cleanup is up for House vote – again (Daily Press)
- US House again votes to restrict federal enforcement of Chesapeake Bay Cleanup (Baltimore Sun)
- Editorial: Goodlatte once again targets the bay cleanup (Fredricksburg.Com)
- Senators vow to fight stripping funds to enforce Chesapeake Bay cleanup (LA Times)
- Environmentalists claim measure will set back Chesapeake Bay (13 News Now)
- Virginia GOP Congressman Again Tries to Gut Accountability For Chesapeake Bay Cleanup (PA Environment Digest Blog)
- Goodbye and Good Riddance to Goodlatte (Bacon’s Rebellion) (LOL)
- Harris backs Bay cleanup (The Star Democrat)
- Bay Journal: Hogan urges US Senate to reject curb on EPA role in Bay cleanup (Maryland.gov)
- House Republicans Advance Bill that Would Derail Chesapeake Cleanup (NPR)
Methodology reminder. Bob Goodlatte has made many failed attempts over the years to prevent the EPA from regulating the Chesapeake Bay’s TDML Blueprint. Interspersed with articles relating to his most recent attempt were articles referencing his prior attempts. Those prior articles were omitted from this list.
Conclusion. Goodlatte seems to have very little support for his latest attempt to restrict the EPA’s authority over the Chesapeake Bay. Beyond the dearth of media articles in support of Goodlatte, seven of Virginia’s eleven U.S. House of Representative members voted against Goodlatte’s amendment. Both Virginia U.S. Senators committed to blocking the amendment in the Senate. Even Maryland’s Republican governor came out publicly against the Goodlatte amendment. I also quickly scanned the next 10 articles (numbers 11 – 20) on the sorted list of responses to my internet search. All were opposed to Goodlatte’s latest attempt to restrict EPA enforcement of the TDML Blueprint.
— Don Rippert