Don't like air pollution? Can I interest you in some water pollution?

According to several reports, the recent negotiations over the spending bill to keep the federal government operating past midnight tonight have focused on whether the bill will contain a handful of "riders," which are special interest policy directives.  In the last several hours, we've been hearing that Republican leaders have sought to include riders to prevent the government from carefully scrutinizing proposed mountaintop removal coal mines and considering the latest science in that process.

As I wrote several weeks ago, the House of Representatives passed its spending bill, and larded it up with all kinds of dirty water riders, including ones that would hamstring the government's enforcement of the Clean Water Act with respect to mountaintop removal mines.  My colleague David Goldston wrote about the numerous anti-environmental riders in that bill.

We seem now to be witnessing a shell game in which the Republican leadership is insisting on extracting some kind of environmental rollback in this bill, and it appears that if they can't get it from the air (votes this week in the Senate certainly demonstrated they don't have the muscle to stop EPA from implementing the Clean Air Act), they'll sacrifice water. 

This kind of tradeoff is completely unacceptable.  Americans deserve clean air and clean water, and in any event including rollbacks in this spending bill as a government shutdown looms completely undermines the legislative process. 

Senators need to hear right now that their constituents oppose all of these riders.  Please call your Senator (click here for a list of office phone numbers) and tell them that the spending bill must be clean of these riders.

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