Pittsburgh, PA – US Steel spent $1.8 million on lobbying in 2014, according to a new report by PennEnvironment. The enormous spending came after US Steel’s Clairton Coke Works dumped 2,213,136 pounds of toxic chemicals into Pennsylvania’s waterways in 2012.
PennEnvironment released its “Polluting Politics” report shortly after the introduction of a House bill to block the EPA’s clean water rule to restore Clean Water Act protections to thousands of waterways in Pennsylvania and across the country.
“As it turns out, the same companies that are polluting our rivers with toxic chemicals are also polluting our politics with their spending,” observed Stephen Riccardi.
PennEnvironment’s report links discharges of toxic chemicals as reported in the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory for 2012 with federally reported campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures.
US Steel’s largest contribution to a single candidate in 2014 was to Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), a vocal opponent of the EPA’s efforts to restore Clean Water Act protections to the nation’s streams.
Right now, major industrial and agricultural companies are lobbying their allies on Capitol Hill to derail EPA’s plan to restore Clean Water Act protections to 49,000 miles of streams in Pennsylvania. Loopholes in the law currently leave the waterways that feed the drinking water for 8 million Pennsylvanians at risk.
“It’s clear that Pennsylvania’s polluters have deep pockets, but thousands of Pennsylvanians have raised their voices in support of doing more to protect the Three Rivers” Riccardi said. “It’s time for Congress to listen to citizens, not the polluters, and let the EPA finish the job to protect our waterways.”