Clinton Vote Against Banning Carcinogen In Water Might Have Political Repercussions

Flint Water Crisis MSNBC

Hillary Clinton’s environmental record has already been viewed as a problem, with Clinton generally taking conservative positions to protect the business interests she receives money from. She has been trying to capitalize politically on the Flint water situation prior to the Michigan primary. A report from investigative reporters David Sirota and Andrew Perez shows how the situation might turn into a political negative for Clinton.

Sirota and Perez reported on a vote in which Clinton voted against banning a possible carcinogen:

When the Democratic presidential contenders meet on Sunday for their debate in Flint, Michigan — where thousands of residents have been poisoned by polluted water — the candidates’ records on clean water policy are likely to be in the spotlight. Hillary Clinton seems eager for that discussion, recently telling NPR: “The idea that you would have a community in the United States of America of nearly 100,000 people who were drinking and bathing in lead-contaminated water infuriates me.”

But despite that rhetoric, the issue of clean water may be politically perilous for the leading Democratic candidate, thanks to her vote against banning a possible carcinogen at the center of one of the largest water pollution scandals in recent history.

Facing reports that a controversial fuel additive was contaminating water supplies across America, Clinton as a senator in 2005 opposed a bipartisan measure to ban the chemical — even though Bill Clinton’s Environmental Protection Agency had first proposed such a prohibition. At roughly the same time, one major company producing the chemical also tried to use provisions in a trade deal backed by Hillary Clinton to force local governments in the United States to let it continue selling the toxic compound…

Breaking with then-Sen. Barack Obama, Clinton joined 14 Republicans and 11 Democrats in voting against the measure to phase out MTBE, which passed the Senate by a vote of 70-26. Critics of the amendment to ban MTBE, like New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, chargedit would end up forcing states to use more ethanol.

When Clinton cast her vote against banning MTBE, she was in the midst of a re-election campaign in which she raised more than $74,000 from the oil and gas industry, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. But her record was not one of unanimous support for that industry…

One Clinton critic says her vote against banning MTBE could be a vulnerability. Last year, Democratic operative Matt Barron cited Clinton’s vote as one of a handful of issues that could cost her in the presidential campaign as she tries to win over voters in rural areas.

Update: In other news about Hillary Clinton today, Jim Webb has stated he will not vote for Clinton in the general election, but leaves upon voting for Trump. (I would expect to see the loss of many Democratic votes if Clinton wins the nomination.


  1. 1
    Diana Martin says:

    How the HELL did she get the League of Conservation Voters endorsement?  Oh, right, money in politics….not because she DESERVED the endorsement.

  2. 2
    Defender of the Facts says:

    The bill in question was the energy policy act of 2005 which was a TERRIBLE bill for the environment.  That law was the the one that had the "Halliburton Loophole" exempted fracking companies from the clean water act!  It also was a massive give away of tax breaks to big oil.  Thats why Clinton voted against it.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    It looks like this “Defender of the Facts” is trying to distort the facts for Clinton. This IS NOT about the Energy Policy Act of 2005. It it is about a specific amendment to protect against carcinogens in the water.

    Clinton has no objections to fracking or give aways to big oil considering how much they contribute to her. She has a record of supporting both. She voted against this amendment because of all the money she received from the petroleum industry.

  4. 4
    Bill White says:

    The League of Conservative Voters endorsed her?  Is this part of that same Conservative group that perpetuates the "right-wing conspiracies" against her?  She is such a victim.  Oy, Jesus Mary & Joseph the woman is a saint!  What am I saying . . . I must have had a stroke!

  5. 5
    Kathy Jo says:

    And Bernie is better?  He ushered in a bill to dump hazardous waste from his home state of VT into Sierra Blanca, Texas and when confronted by environmental activists, he basically told them to drop dead !  Stop playing the double standard game.  No wait, keep pulling this kind of crap and Hillary will take him down with it. 

  6. 6
    Robert says:

    Geezus! There is plenty to criticize about Hillary….but before republishing stuff why not do a little background (aka fact checking?)

    You aren't doing anyone any favors (except for maybe Ted Cruz or Donald Trump)


    Clinton Opposes MTBE Proposal

    Calls on EPA to release study linking MTBE to cancer

    Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton today strongly criticized proposed language to be included in the Senate Energy Bill that would exempt MTBE manufacturers from liability for cleaning up MTBE contaminated groundwater. "Any plan that shifts MTBE cleanup costs from polluters to New York's taxpayers is unacceptable," Senator Clinton said. "The proposal unveiled today is an insult to New York. It provides liability relief for MTBE producers in exchange for a cleanup trust fund that is inadequate and depends heavily on taxpayer dollars."

  7. 7
    Robert says:

    "Though the MTBE ban was not included in the final energy legislation, the new bill did include language discouraging the use of the chemical. Despite expressing concerns about MTBE, Clinton voted against the overall bill, which passed the Senate 74-26."

  8. 8
    Robert says:

    Check out Sanders' vote……then ask yourself if Bernie's vote will have any political repurcussions.


  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:

    Kathy, Double standard? Try sticking to the facts. You are talking about a bill which Clinton signed. It is therefore a wash–no double standard at all.

  10. 10
    Ron Chusid says:

    Robert, the moment you resorted to Clinonista tactics such as claims of helping Ted Cruz or Donald Trump, along with baseline attacks such as doing fact checking, it was pretty clear that your goal was to obfuscate the issue. When I did fact checking before posting I found Clinton apologists making the same arguments you made, which have been debunked.

    Your arguments amount to taking Clinton double talk to cover up her financial motivations in voting, plus you confuse the specific amendment to the Senate Bill, the full bill, and a House bill which Sanders voted on which was an entirely different matter.

  11. 11
    KP says:

    Since our spat(s) over Obamacare, I enjoy your articles and comments more than most on the Internet.

    You are one tough dawg and well researched.

  12. 12
    Ron Chusid says:

    Thank you Kevin. Even with our disagreements in the past over Obamacare, I think we can agree on the broad outlines of the issue as it pertains to the upcoming election: It was an improvement over the past situation but has flaws and  much more needs to be done. Sanders is right and Clinton is wrong with regards to ultimately moving to a single payer system.

  13. 13
    Edward Tedesco says:

    They Knew MTBE was polluting groundwater back in the 1990's and did nothing for how long? As to healthcare we were sold out when Obama did not fight to keep govt provision for insurance! The insurance industry got everything it wanted and then some!

  14. 14
    Ron Chusid says:

    They are greedy and did not get everything they wanted but made out well. Lieberman and Nelson probably made it impossible to get public option or Medicare buy in thru the Senate.

Leave a comment