Tom Cotton on Environment


No EPA permits required for forest road runoff.

Cotton co-sponsored Silviculture Regulatory Consistency Act

Congressional Summary:Amends the Clean Water Act to prohibit the EPA from requiring permits for a discharge of stormwater runoff resulting from silviculture activities.

Opponent's argument against bill: (Evergreen Magazine and Washington Forest Law Center): In Aug. 2010, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that polluted stormwater generated by logging roads is subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act. [The ruling meant] that rain runoff from forest roads constituted an industrial (not forestry) activity, which should be considered a "point source" discharge under the CWA. The lawsuit was brought because forest roads have been dumping sediment into rivers that support myriad species of salmon and resident trout, all of which are at risk from the pollution. The ruling will require State agencies to issue permits and ensure that road construction and maintenance practices limit or eliminate such discharges.

In March 2013, the US Supreme Court reversed the Ninth Circuit: permits are not required for stormwater discharges from pipes, ditches and channels along logging roads. [This legislation supports the Supreme Court ruling, against the Ninth Circuit conclusion].

Proponent's argument for bill: (Press release by sponsors):

Sen. WYDEN (D-OR): "We need a healthy timber industry to provide timber jobs and to do the restoration work that ensures healthy forests. The way to do that is to stop litigating questions that have already been answered."

Sen. CRAPO (R-ID): "The jobs and economic activities relating to the forest products industry are critical to the Pacific Northwest. The Clean Water Act was not intended to regulate stormwater runoff on forest roads."

Rep. HERRERA BEUTLER (R-WA): "At the heart of our efforts are the moms and dads employed by healthy, working forests--and passing this law will help make sure they have jobs, and will help make our forests healthy."

Source: S.971 / H.R.2026 13-H2026 on May 16, 2013

Build Keystone XL; it's now passed environmental concerns.

Cotton signed Letter from the U.S.House of Representatives to Pres. Obama

Dear Mr. President,

We are writing to request that you end your opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline by allowing its long-delayed approval process to be finalized.

When you intervened in January of last year to stop the nearly completed approval process, you emphasized the potential negative environmental impact of the pipeline's proposed route in Nebraska. These concerns have now been addressed. Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman once opposed the pipeline's route on environmental grounds. However, on January 22, 2013, Gov. Heineman sent you a letter officially informing you of his approval of the new proposed pipeline route.

If approved, the positive impact on our economy would be felt almost immediately. Keystone XL would create an estimated 20,000 new jobs directly, and 200,000 indirectly. Keystone XL would also advance our national security, by providing secure access to petroleum from Canada.

Source: Letter from U.S.House 13-KeyXL-H on Feb 6, 2013

Limit EPA oversight to allow mining over fishing.

Cotton signed Regulatory Certainty Act

Congressional bill text:

A BILL to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify when the Administrator of the EPA has the authority to prohibit or restrict the specification of a defined area as a disposal site

Argument in opposition: (by Trout Unlimited, tu.org, July 15, 2014)

Trout Unlimited and anglers across America strongly oppose the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's ill-conceived markup of HR 4854, because the bill would prevent the EPA from protecting the world class fisheries of Bristol Bay, Alaska.

The poorly conceived bill has had no legislative hearings. The oversight hearing will have no Alaskan witnesses from Bristol Bay, the people most adversely affected by this bill.

The Bristol Bay region of Alaska is threatened by one of the most potentially damaging mines ever proposed. EPA has moved forward with a science-based, inclusive, transparent process, which, if implemented, should protect headwaters of an area that sees an annual run of 40 million salmon. The Bristol Bay fishery is worth in excess of $1.5 billion per year.

The committee plans to give Pebble Limited Partnership, [the mine owners], a gift-wrapped present, HR 4854, rewarding its many failures to produce a viable mining plan.

Source: H.R.4854 14_H4854 on Jun 12, 2014

No EPA expansion of regulated waters.

Cotton signed Waters of the U.S. Regulatory Overreach Protection Act

Congressional Summary:

Argument in opposition: (by Rep. Bishop, D-NY-1)

The enactment of H.R. 5078 would, unfortunately, lock in place the interpretive guidance of the Bush administration: traditional Clean Water Act protections over a significant percentage of waters has been called into question or have simply been lost. These are protections that existed for over 30 years prior to the issuance of the first Bush-era guidance in 2003 and are now all but lost, making it harder and more costly for individual States to protect their own waters should their upstream neighbors be unwilling or unable to fill in the gap in protecting water quality.

Pollution needs to go somewhere, and since pollution does not respect State boundaries when it travels downstream, it will have an adverse impact on the quality of life and the quality of the environment of those downstream States. Under H.R. 5078, the EPA would be prohibited from ensuring that polluters in Connecticut continue to reduce excessive amounts of nitrogen in the Sound, leaving my constituents in the State of New York without any recourse to stop them.

Source: H.5078 14_H5078 on Jul 11, 2014

2012 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Environment: Tom Cotton on other issues:
AR Gubernatorial:
Asa Hutchinson
Frank Gilbert
Mike Beebe
Mike Ross
Tim Griffin
AR Senatorial:
John Boozman
Mark Pryor
Nathan LaFrance

Left 113th Congress, 2013-2014:
AL-1: Jo Bonner(R,resigned)
FL-13:Bill Young(R,deceased)
FL-19:Trey Radel(R,arrested)
IL-2: Jesse L. Jackson(D,convicted)
LA-5: Rodney Alexander(R,resigned)
MA-5: Ed Markey(D,elected)
MO-8: Jo Ann Emerson(R,resigned)
NC-12:Mel Watt(D,appointed)
NJ-1: Rob Andrews(D,investigated)
SC-1: Tim Scott(R,appointed)

Newly-elected special elections 2013-2014:
AL-1: Bradley Byrne(R)
FL-13:David Jolly(R)
FL-19:Curt Clawson(R)
IL-2: Robin Kelly(D)
LA-5: Vance McAllister(R)
MA-5: Katherine Clark(D)
MO-8: Jason Smith(R)
NC-12: Pending Jul.15
NJ-1: Pending Nov.4
SC-1: Mark Sanford(R)
Won primary 2014:
GA-11:Barry Loudermilk(R)
MA-6 :Richard Tisei(R)
TX-4: John Ratcliffe(R)
VA-7: Dave Brat(R)

AL-6 :Gary Palmer(R)
AR-4 :Bruce Westerman(R)
CA-11:Mark DeSaulnier(R)
CA-33:Ted Lieu(D)
CA-35:Norma Torres(D)
CA-45:Mimi Walters(R)
CO-4 :Ken Buck(R)
GA-1 :Buddy Carter(R)
GA-10:Jody Hice(R)
IA-1 :Pat Murphy(D)
MI-4 :John Moolenaar(R)
MI-12:Debbie Dingell(D)
MI-14:Brenda Lawrence(D)
MN-6 :Tom Emmer(R)
NC-6 :Mark Walker(R)
NC-7 :David Rouzer(R)
NJ-12:Bonnie Watson Coleman(R)
NY-4 :Kathleen Rice(D)
OK-5 :Steve Russell(R)
PA-13:Brendan Boyle(D)
TX-36:Brian Babin(R)
UT-4 :Mia Love(R)
VA-8 :Don Beyer(D)

Retiring to run for Senate in 2014:
AR-4: Tom Cotton(R)
CO-4: Cory Gardner(R)
GA-1: Jack Kingston(R)
GA-10:Paul Broun(R)
GA-11:Phil Gingrey(R)
HI-1: Colleen Hanabusa(D)
IA-1: Bruce Braley(D)
LA-6: Bill Cassidy(R)
MI-14:Gary Peters(D)
MT-0: Steve Daines(R)
OK-5: James Lankford(R)
TX-36:Steve Stockman(R)
WV-2: Shelley Moore Capito(R)

Former Reps running for House in 2014:
CA-3: Doug Ose(R)
CA-31:Joe Baca(D)
HI-1: Charles Djou(R)
IL-10:Bob Dold(R)
IL-17:Bobby Schilling(R)
KS-4: Todd Tiahrt(R)
MI-4: Peter Konetchy(R)
MI-14:Hansen Clarke(D)
MS-4: Gene Taylor(D)
MT-0: Denny Rehberg(R)
NH-1: Frank Guinta(R)
NY-11:Vito Fossella(R)
NY-18:Nan Hayworth(R)
OH-7: John Boccieri(D)
PA-13:Marjorie Margolies(D)
TX-23:Francisco Canseco(R)
Lost primary 2014:
GA-11:Bob Barr(R)
MA-6: John Tierney(D)
TX-4: Ralph Hall(R)
VA-7: Eric Cantor(R)
MI-11:Kerry Bentivolio(R)

Retiring to run for State Office in 2014:
AR-2: Tim Griffin(R)
CA-35:Gloria McLeod(D)
ME-2: Mike Michaud(D)
PA-13:Allyson Schwartz(D)
VI-0: Donna Christensen(D)

Retiring effective Jan. 2015:
AL-6: Spencer Bachus(R)
AZ-7: Ed Pastor(D)
CA-11:George Miller(D)
CA-25:Howard McKeon(R)
CA-31:Gary Miller(R)
CA-33:Henry Waxman(D)
CA-45:John Campbell(R)
IA-3: Tom Latham(R)
MI-4: Dave Camp(R)
MI-6: Tom Petri(R)
MI-12:John Dingell(D)
MN-6: Michele Bachmann(R)
NC-6: Howard Coble(R)
NC-7: Mike McIntyre(D)
NJ-3: Jon Runyan(R)
NJ-12:Rush Holt(D)
NY-4: Carolyn McCarthy(D)
NY-21:Bill Owens(D)
PA-6: Jim Gerlach(R)
UT-4: Jim Matheson(D)
VA-8: James Moran(D)
VA-10:Frank Wolf(R)
WA-4: Doc Hastings(R)
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Page last updated: Nov 25, 2014