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“What’s interesting,” says Weiss, “is that he opposed the bill all the way, even when it was a motherhood vote. And there is so much in there for Texas. It is safe to say that Sen. Phil Gramm voted to keep Texas waters dirty.” A 1985 study by the Environmental Protection Agency says Texans need to spend $4.1 billion on sewage treatment facilities before the year 2000. Weiss says another report estimates that 349 municipal sewage projects need to be undertaken by July 1988 if Texas citizens are to comply with clean water standards. More than two dozen of those projects, says Weiss. are located in the district Gramm represented in the House for six years. The alternative to sewage treatment is neither pleasant nor frugal. “Basically,” says Weiss, “you turn your local rivers and lakes into open sewers. Untreated animal and human waste depletes the water of oxygen, making it uninhabitable for marine life and inhospitable to human life.” Such, apparently, is Phil Gramm’s vision of our future. On March 17 the League of Conserenvironmental groups, will release its ratings of Congressional votes for the 99th Congress. The ratings will evaluate for the first time Gramm’s environmental record as a U.S. Senator. For the time being we have the LCV’s record of Gramm’s activities during three terms in the House of Representatives from 1979 through 1984. A review of that record puts a good deal of flesh on the bones of assertions that Phil Gramm is no friend of the earth or the people who live here. Gramm’s career average of a 13 percent rating on environmental issues demonstrates that, if only by chance, he has been slightly better than a complete zero. Even Weiss says Gramm has been found in the environmental camp on those rare occasions when his agenda coincides with theirs. For instance, environmentalists are opposed to a Greg Moses, formerly a radio reporter in Bryan-College Station, non’ lives and writes in Austin. million dollar highway in New York City known as Westway. Gramm is supporting the environmentalists because, says Weiss, “opposition to Westway is not only anti-spending, it’s also anti-New York. Where it’s clearly a spending question we can occasionally get Gramm’s support. But even then we don’t spend much time on his vote. The key word is “occasionally.” As Gramm’s environmental record shows. he is not even consistent in his opposition to big ticket spending. What emerges is a consistent set of priorities which have less to do with frugal government and more to do with rapacious profiteering. We’ll begin with the good news which, according to the LCV, is 13 percent of the story. GRAMM JOINED conservationists in opposition to two “pork barrel” projects in 1984, the Falmouth Darn on Kentucky’s Licking River, and the Cross Florida Barge Canal. In 1983 Gramm cast three antispending votes: opposing the Garrison Diversion Water Project. opposing the Stonewall Jackson Dam in West Virginia, and opposing $51.5 million for unauthorized water projects. In all three cases, the spenders carried the day. In 1982, Gramm again opposed the Garrison Diversion, the O’Neill Water Project. the Clinch River Nuclear Reactor, and the use of federal funds for development of coastal barrier islands. That the last vote was more antispending then pro-coast was made clear when Gramm voted against final passage of the Ocean and Coastal Resources Management and Development fund, a fund which taxed offshore oil for the purpose of coastal management. In opposing the fund, Gramm was taking money opposing the Sea Grant program which in Texas is headquartered on the College Station campus of Texas A&M University, an interest Gramm might have been expected to protect \(he represented Bryan-College Station in offshore drillers. Gramm’s anti-spending profile has not proved reliable, however, in stopping some of the most egregious cases of “pork barrel” spending. In 1981. the year of the Gramm-Latta budget cuts, when it would be expected that such projects would fall under Gramm’s axe, he sided with environmentalists only once. as he joined in opposition to the Garrison Diversion. On three other occasions that year he sided with the big spenders, voting to continue $4 million for planning of the same Garrison Diversion which he had opposed. helping to block efforts by environmentalists to cut $17.8 million from the Stonewall Jackson Dam, and favoring a ditch which had the sole virtue of providing a shortcut to the Gulf of Mexico. Environmentalists that year wanted to delete $189 million earmarked for the Tennessee-Tombigee Waterway. “This ‘three billion dollar ditch’ is the most expensive and perhaps most controversial project ever undertaken by the Corps of Engineers,” reported the LCV in 1982. “This waterway will cut through a mountain ridge to link the Tennessee River with the Tombigee River in order to provide a shorter route to the Gulf of Mexico. It would destroy over 100.000 acres of forest, farmland, wetland, and wildlife habitat along the Tombigee River. But it provides no hydropower, flood control, irrigation, or water supply benefits to anyone.” On such an issue, budget slasher Gramm voted to get along and go along. In 1980 Gramm had five opportunities to cut public works projects deemed wasteful by the LCV, but he preferred to spend. For instance, Gramm voted to authorize projects in 300 congressional districts which were all thrown into the same pork barrel known as the Water Resources Development Act. The LCV, which characterized the bill as an orgy of logrolling and pork barrel spending,” said the fight over the act “was especially critical because President Carter has successfully vetoed the bloated appropriations bills sent to him by the previous Congress.” And the National Taxpayers Union commented with disgust, “it is ironic that some of the bill’s staunchest support comes from those who have continually advocated cutting government spending and balancing the budget.” Need we name names? There were four other opportunities in 1980 to join with environmentalists and cut spending, and on each occasion Gramm refused to stop further spending. It is indeed ironic that Gramm took the 1980 Reagan Revolution as an endorsement of his own brand of fiscal restraint in the same year that he was voting for public works projects which environmentalists believed were wildly extravagant. Phil Gramm and the Environment 8 MARCH 6, 1987