Wednesday, April 19, 2017

WMC takes WI water policy to new toxic low

There have been two unmistakable trends flowing from the State Capitol since right-wing Republican bellhops in the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, (WMC), helped create the Scott Walker era and captured all three branches of government in our formerly progressive state.

* A harder, punitive edge - - like funding cuts to food aid, schools and transit, or rejection of federal Medicaid dollars, and now calls for mandatory drug testing - - that keeps chipping away - - with an attitude - - at the poor and support for cities where most of the state's minority citizens reside.

* Mismanagement of the state's waters - - including a giveaway of the people's groundwater, or officially looking the other way as rural wells remain contaminated with farm and feedlot manure runoff, or the intentional and tolerated pollution of rivers and lakes to serve corporate bottom lines.

Though the State Constitution's Article IX says those water supplies belong to and are there for the use and enjoyment of all the people of the state - - not just the wealthy and politically-connected.

It's called the Public Trust Doctrine, and now it looks like that doctrine and that trust are about to be completely destroyed.

That's because those negative, cruel and corrosive trends have merged with a truly repugnant, toxic outcome:

The WMC has just formally come out in opposition to a consensus plan to help remove dangerous lead contamination from antiquated pipes that supply drinking water from public sources to Wisconsin residences, principally in Milwaukee.

Where most of the state's low-income and minority children and their families live.

I hope there are enough Republicans in the Legislature for whom this is a bridge too far.

If not, and if the state steps back from systematically helping to remove lead from state drinking water, then just turn out the lights, Bucky, because the idea and realities that were Wisconsin are over.

1 comment:

Tom Oelhafen said...

It seems ironic that Walker wants to drug test more people at the same time our water quality is eroding. Researchers have found higher doses of drugs in our water systems. Could a time come when drinking a glass of water might make you test positive for drugs? Could Walker considered a drug provider as well?