02/21/2011 - Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R- Roanoke, seems the sort of fellow who would prefer Pottersville to Bedford Falls. In the classic movie "It's a Wonderful Life," Pottersville was what Bedford Falls would have become had George Bailey not provided townspeople an opportunity to invest in their town and make it a pleasant place to live.
Mr. Goodlatte introduced a budget amendment to the spending bill passed by the Republican-controlled House early Saturday that would ban the use of the federal funds that the EPA has set aside to implement its Chesapeake Bay restoration plan. Unlike prior, largely voluntary initiatives that have brought little more than 25 years of frustration, this plan carries the power of law and a broad understanding of the cleanup's importance among Democrats and many Republicans alike.
Over those decades, as officials touted the Bay's past and future value but failed to commit the necessary cleanup funding, the science and economics of the issue have been well-documented: A healthy Bay is the foundation of a thriving regional ecosystem and the fuel for a powerful economic engine. It bolsters each element of the seafood, tourism, and recreation industries--creating, not destroying, jobs. It contributes to the Virginia that is for lovers--lovers of a fruitful Chesapeake, fed by scenic waterways free of dead fish and toxicity.
Read the full editorial The Bay vs. Goodlatte on The Free Lance-Star's Web site.