In politics you don’t hear the phrase “living legend” used very often without bursting out in laughter (hyperbole is ubiquitous in this business after all), but there are still a few individuals worthy of such a title and California Congressman Henry Waxman is one of them.
Waxman is an accomplished leader on the issues of environmental protection and public health. He served in the legislature for six years before he was elected to his first term in Congress in 1975 –right at the time when amendments to the Clean Air Act requiring regulatory controls for air pollution were being agreed upon and enacted. He fought the Reagan Administration’s efforts to rollback the law throughout the 1980s. In 1990, he went on offense, as Waxman became one of the primary authors of the second major set of Clean Air Act amendments that created stronger standards to curb problems with urban smog, toxic air pollution, acid rain, and the depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer. The amendments have since been credited to significantly reduce cancer-causing toxic emissions and prevent over 20,000 premature deaths each year.
In 2001, Waxman became a visible and vocal leader in combating the relentless assault against the environment and public health laws by President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. As a sponsor of the 1986 and 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act amendments, which provide America with one of the cleanest drinking water sources in the world, he fought against dangerous attempts to rollback this law along with countless other Bush Administration efforts to try to log old growth forests, rollback the Clean Air Act, weaken toxics regulations, and increase our dependence on dirty fossil fuels. Following the 2006 election, Waxman became Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where he led the charge to unravel Dick Cheney’s secret backroom deals with oil companies and investigate Halliburton’s role in the efforts leading up to the Iraq War.
After four decades of being on the forefront of environmental protection, Waxman is one of the most powerful voices in the effort to prevent the worst effects of global warming that threatens California’s water supply and our cherished coastline. In 2009, he authored and led the House of Representatives to pass the Waxman-Markey Anti-Global Warming bill aimed at limiting pollution by capping greenhouse gas emissions and putting a price on carbon. Today, as a member of the minority party in Congress, he continues to be a formidable opponent of the attacks made by global warming deniers and polluter-funded Congressmen who call global warming a “hoax.”
With so much experience, knowledge, and proven efficacy, it’s absolutely vital that we re-elect Congressman Waxman. California, and indeed, the country, needs his experience, will and expertise in Washington, D.C. to continue the fight to protect public health and our natural resources. Following the decennial redistricting, Waxman’s coastal district now includes some of the California’s biggest corporate polluters including an ExxonMobil refinery. With a substantial new constituency, Waxman faces one of his toughest congressional races in his nearly 40 year career, and he needs your help to win in November.
Please check out his website and find out ways you can help re-elect this living legend!