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February 17, 2011

Taking the Clean Water Challenge on Capitol Hill

The set up
Today in Washington, DC, as the House argues over the Republicans' plan that would cut billions of dollars from important environmental health protections for water, air, and more - some Sierra Club staffers decided to set up a challenge on the House side of the U.S. Capitol Building.

One water cooler had clean water certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (the agency Republicans are trying to gut), and the other had some risky dirty water from the Gulf.

Holly answers questions The Sierra Club volunteers asked passing members of Congress, as they consider their vote on the GOP proposed continuing resolution that eliminates billions of dollars for clean drinking water, to gamble with their health just like the proposed GOP budget asks all Americans to do.

Or as the sign said: Take a gamble, Americans will have to! (If the GOP gets their way and their plan - known as a Continuing Resolution - passes).

The GOP proposed continuing resolution prevents protection against oil and waste dumping into drinking water sources of more than 117 million Americans, cuts $1.410 billion from wastewater treatment and other water pollution prevention programs, and cuts $557 million from clean drinking water programs that grant money to states so they can keep our drinking water safe.

Congressman Rob Andrews We had some good conversations with the public and one notable Congressman - Rep. Robert Andrews of New Jersey's First District - who joked that being from New Jersey means he has to deal with dirty water all the time.

Rep. Andrews (seen in the photo taking a chance and choosing the cooler on the right side) said he was with us and all Americans who want clean water, and that he'd be voting against the GOP plan...although he did choose the wrong unmarked cooler and got some pretty gross water in his cup.

All in all, it was a fun stunt to bring attention to the problems with the GOP plan. Take action and urge your Congressional rep to vote against this plan.

-- Heather Moyer

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