Debate Magazine

Where, Oh Where, is the Toxic Avenger, When We Need Him to Vanquish the Evil Tea Party?

Posted on the 10 October 2013 by Doggone
the original movie trailer, top; the musical trailer, bottom   In the not-so-distant past, 
 from out of the campy ooze of nuclear waste, 
 came a hero! 
 We need that hero again to come to the aid of the
country  against the evil hostage-takers in Congress! We know that the conservatives hate conservation,
hate protecting the environment, taking mundane  human efforts on behalf of clean air, water, and soil  as an affront against God, Capitalism, and to the
 right, most serious of all, against Conservative
 Ideology!
 As note at Earthjustice.org almost a year ago: "...some 10 years ago, the clean water tide slowed as polluters gained traction in Congress; and two years ago, with political collaboration at an end, the tide turned. As a result, loopholes and lax enforcement led to the fouling of beaches and rivers with toxic slime, the filling thousands of miles of Appalachian streams with the rubble of mountaintop removal mining; and have allowed dozens of toxic coal ash ponds to exist unregulated among our communities.
The current Congress seems especially eager to prove that pollution means prosperity. Many representatives are joined in an effort to weaken and even wreck the Clean Water Act, particularly by attacking the Environmental Protection Agency's power to enforce it.
And of course, at the federal level we have the desire by Republican candidates in the 2012 election to eradicate the EPA.  We see similar efforts at the state level by conservatives to destroy both environmental regulation and the environment itself, in the name of being good for business.  It goes hand in hand with the religious fanatics who believe God won't let us kill ourselves with pollution, and with the anti-science thinking that denies global warming, and promotes the new-earth creationism fallacies.
In the course of the Republican shutdown of the federal government, one of the activities that is put on hold for the duration is the cleanup of the long-term clean-up of Superfund Toxic Waste sites.  Below is the national map by region (Minnesota is in region 5) followed by a list of projects interrupted by the suspension of the federal government operations:
Map of the US, split into EPA regions

Minnesota

Boise Cascade/Onan Corp./Medtronics — see Fridley-Area Superfund Sites (Anoka County, MN)
Burlington Northern (Brainerd/Baxter, MN)
CMC Heartland — see South Minneapolis Residential Soil Contamination Site (Hennepin County, MN)
East Bethel Demolition Landfill (East Bethel, MN)
FMC Corp. - Fridley Plant - see Fridley-Area Superfund Sites (Anoka County, MN)
Fridley-Area Superfund Sites (Anoka County, MN)
Fridley Commons Park Well Field (Fridley, MN) see Fridley-Area Superfund Sites
Highway 7 & Wooddale Avenue Soil Vapor Study Areas (St. Louis Park, MN)
Kurt Manufacturing Co. — see Fridley-Area Superfund Sites (Anoka County, MN)
LaGrand Sanitary Landfill (Douglas County, MN)
Naval Industrial Reserve Ordnance Plant (NIROP) — see Fridley-Area Superfund Sites (Anoka County, MN)
Northeast Minneapolis Tremolite Asbestos Site (Minneapolis, MN)
Nutting Truck and Caster site (Fairbault, MN)
Pine Bend Sanitary Landfill (Inver Grove, MN)
Reilly Tar & Chemical Corp. St Louis Park Plant (St. Louis Park, MN )
South Minneapolis Residential Soil Contamination Site (Hennepin County, MN)
Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (Anoka County, MN)
St. Regis Paper Co. Superfund Site (Cass Lake, MN)
Waste Disposal Engineering (Andover, MN)
Western Mineral Products site ( Minneapolis, MN)
I doubt many of our state conservative legislators know or care about any clean up in their respective districts; it is certain that our Minnesota conservative delegates to Congress do not.  This is exactly what the conservatives have wanted all along.  All three of the Minnesota Republicans have pretty consistently voted with the far right extremists.
Michele Bachmann, back in 2011, during her aborted campaign for President, from alternet.org:
If Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann can’t abolish the Environmental Protection Agency like she promised in June, she may just try to lock employees out of the building.
Speaking at campaign rally in Iowa last week, Bachmann made it clear that she’ll do anything it takes to stamp out environmental protection efforts – even if that means padlocking the front door and switching off the breakers, according to a report from the Des Moines Register:
“I pledge to you I’m not a talker. I’m a doer,” she said… “And I guarantee you the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) will have doors locked and lights turned off and they will only be about conservation,” she said earlier today at a campaign stop in Cedar Rapids. “It will be a new day and a new sheriff in Washington, D.C.”
 Michele Bachmann is GIDDY over the shut down. If only temporarily, she's locked out the EPA employees. Bachmann has never been anything EXCEPT a talker, but for once, something actually happened as a result of her big, ignorant mouth...a couple of years late.
John Kline, in 2011, in the STrib:
We can all agree that reasonable regulations protect our children and the environment. But far too many excessive regulations unnecessarily increase costs for consumers and small businesses, making it harder for the private sector to create jobs.
The problem? John Kline doesn't appear to think there IS any such critter as a reasonable regulation, especially not if the regulated entity or person gives him campaign donations.
Eric Paulsen, from the MPR site on 2012 candidates positions:
EnvironmentShould the federal government's environmental protection efforts be changed? If so, how? ANSWER OPTION
Offshore drilling should be increased, federal solar energy programs should be cut, permitting for mining on federal lands -- including the BWCA -- should be streamlined.
CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Paulsen supported these initiatives in 2012. The advocacy group Environment America says Paulsen supports their interests 17 percent of the time.

We need a figure like the Toxic Avenger to swoop in, with a big mop and a barrel, to clean up the mess and the mess-makers on the right in Congress, metaphorically (not literally, physically) knocking some heads together to save our planet, including the clean up of the super-fund toxic waste sites here in MN.

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