What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : America's Poor : H.R. 6. Energy/Vote on Amendment to Codify Executive Orders Issued by Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton to Achieve "Environmental Justice," Meaning to Collect Data and Develop Policies to Alleviate the Impact of Pollution on Minority and Low-Income Communities. (2005 house Roll Call 130)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
H.R. 6. Energy/Vote on Amendment to Codify Executive Orders Issued by Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton to Achieve "Environmental Justice," Meaning to Collect Data and Develop Policies to Alleviate the Impact of Pollution on Minority and Low-Income Communities.
house Roll Call 130     Apr 21, 2005
Member's Vote
(progressive
or not)
Progressive Position
Progressive Result
(win or loss)

In this vote, the House defeated an amendment offered by Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) to H.R. 6, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, that would have put into law executive orders issued by Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton that aimed to achieve "environmental justice." (Executive orders can be reversed by subsequent executive orders; statutes (provisions of the U.S. code) must be reversed by other acts of Congress or overturned by a judicial act.) These orders mandated the collection of data and consequent development of policies to alleviate the impact of pollution on minority and low-income communities, which Progressives and other amendment supporters argued suffer disproportionate negative effects from pollution. Hastings stated that his amendment would have "establishe[d] offices of environmental justice in appropriate agencies and reestablishe[d] the Interagency Federal Working Group on Environmental Justice." In addition, he noted that "[p]erhaps, most importantly, the amendment represents the first time ever that Congress has attempted to define the term 'environmental justice.'" Arguing the Progressive position, Hastings noted that "more than 70 percent of African Americans and Latinos, compared to only 58 percent of the majority community, live in counties which regularly fail to meet current clean air standards." Finally, he added that "[i]t is not by coincidence that the majority of power plants and refineries in the United States are built in low-incomes [sic] areas. The land is cheap, the political influence of the neighborhood is virtually nonexistent, and in the bill we are considering this week, such siting is actually encouraged." Republicans countered that the existing executive orders were sufficient to achieve the cause of environmental justice, and that additional "environmental restrictions and quotas" would result if Hastings's amendment were passed, and that these would only inhibit necessary growth in "economically disadvantaged communities." The House defeated the Progressive position on this amendment by a vote of 185 to 243, with 19 Democrats crossing party lines to vote with Republicans against the amendment. Thus, the measures ordered by Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton to achieve environmental justice were not put into law as part of the energy bill, and therefore remained subject to override by a single, at will retraction by a current or future president.

N Y L
Issue Areas:
Key: Y=Yea, N=Nay, W=Win, L=Loss