March 2, 2011

Shimkus Supports Polluters Over Health of Children

Environment Illinois issued a press release about Congressman John Shimkus under the category of "what else is new?" You can check it out at their website if you missed it.

Congressman Shimkus Supports Polluters Over Health of Children

More than 85,000 Illinois residents in and around Representative Shimkus’s district with asthma, including 21,829 children, are at increased risk of adverse health consequences if he is successful in preventing the US EPA from updating Clean Air Act standards, according to data compiled by the Natural Resources Defense Council and released by Environment Illinois. Representative Shimkus has received more than $889,695 from polluters, many of which have made stopping the EPA a high priority.

Underscoring the severity of the problem, 1,061,329 residents statewide suffer from asthma including 299,285 children. EPA scientists have determined that carbon dioxide endangers public health, in part because it contributes to warmer temperatures, which make it easier for smog pollution to develop and harder to reduce it. Smog is particularly dangerous to asthma sufferers. Warmer temperatures are also associated with increased morbidity and mortality due to increased severe weather events, such as hurricanes and floods; the spread of infectious disease; and heat-related illnesses, all of which incur additional health care costs.

Representative Shimkus has cosponsored legislation intended to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from limiting air pollution. In addition, he voted in favor of a funding bill (HR 1) on February 19 that, among other things, blocks the EPA from limiting carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants and other industrial sources. This bill amounts to the biggest attack on the health and environment of Illinoisans in recent history. By blocking new air pollution limits, he would put the public’s health at risk by allowing polluters to continue emitting unlimited amounts of carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the air.

Environment Illinois also released a report last week about the political influence of Big Agribusiness groups like the Farm Bureau. "Giant agricultural companies are throwing around millions of dollars to fight to continue polluting our rivers, lakes, and streams."

Coincidentally, Shimkus just received the Illinois Farm Bureau's Silver Sow award. No, wait. That's Golden Plow Award. I thought "golden plow" was slang for a liaison under the Golden Gate Bridge but that's really what they call their award.

Remember when Shimkus made a nonsense comment about the EPA's non-existent new regulation of tractor dust? It turns out that it wasn't his own original hallucination. He was repeating the talking points of a Farm Bureau lobbyist. It's becoming clear that the Farm Bureau is focusing less on representing farmers and is instead becoming a tool of the oil, coal and chemical industries to mislead farming communities.