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January 20, 2000 - BUSH CONTRIBUTORS GET SUPERFUND RELIEF


Austin....Texas Governor George Bush received millions of dollars in campaign contributions from industries who directly benefitted from a Bush-sponsored rewrite of state hazardous waste laws, according to documents released today by Texas Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (Texas PEER). The law shifted the responsibility for toxic cleanup costs from banks and landowners to state taxpayers

As one of his early environmental initiatives, Gov. Bush commissioned an industry-dominated "workgroup" to reevaluate Texas's hazardous waste cleanup laws. The resulting plan largely eliminated the "polluter pays" principles found in federal and most state hazardous waste cleanup ("Superfund") laws. The financial records of contributors show:

> more than $ 3 million from interests represented on the industry Superfund "workgroup";

> more than a third of a million dollars from corporations that have applied for "certificates of innocence" shielding them from the financial consequences of contamination found on their land; and

> a particular generosity among oil and chemical companies whose products are often responsible for the need to conduct toxic cleanups.

"Pollution policy in Texas has become a cash and carry operation if you have the cash you can carry on as you like," stated Texas PEER Coordinator Erin Rogers. "The Texas Superfund law sponsored by Governor Bush worked to the advantage of the same corporate interests who ponied up the dollars and to the disadvantage of ordinary Texans living in the shadow of polluted places."





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