Koch brothers supporter Sen. Joe Manchin (D- W. Va.) has sponsored a bill which would limit the EPA's use of the Clean Water Act to, in rare cases, block mining permits for projects that would cause significant harm to the environment. This Bill, co-sponsored by Alaskan Sen. Lisa Murkowski (also David Vitter, R- La. and James Risch, R-Id.) comes on the heels of the EPA blocking a permit for Alaska's Pebble Mine. The proposed mine is expected to be the largest in the world and cause adverse environmental effects to the adjacent Bristol Bay, "an extraordinary resource," according to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.
Joe Manchin stands for very little, and takes the lead even less, a classic politician, evidenced by this chart below.
His involvement sponsoring this bill tends to point to his recent support of the Koch Brothers, whose multi-billion dollar empire relies on low environmental oversight and high tax breaks. Manchin is also a representitive to West Virginia, the country's second largest coal producer, who's recent chemical spill has brought it's coal industry into the national spotlight.
Manchin, who is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests and Mines, under the Senate Committee on Energy and National Resources, said the EPA "has been waging a destructive war against energy production."
His press office would not return my calls.
If the Pebble Mine is built it will look exactly like the Bingham Open Pit Copper Mine in Utah...only much bigger.
To see more of what Bristol Bay still looks like, check out Robert Glenn Ketchum's amazing photography.