Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How Much Will McDonnell's Petty Poke at Enviros Cost You?

UPDATE: The Washington Post is picking up the story, now asking if McDonnell lifted the ban on bottled water at the behest of the industry.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch details how Gov. Bob McDonnell is reversing Gov. Tim Kaine's ban on state agencies buying bottled water except in emergency cases. Republican bloggers giddly applauded the move -- that'll show them treehuggers!

McDonnell's move reveals he puts petty politics over small government or conservatism. His move will waste tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars.

Corporate Accountability International, citing Virginia government's state spending tracking database, reports that in FY09 cash payments from Virginia agencies to at least several bottled water vendors were estimated to be at least $158,677. And whaddya know -- bottled water companies are thrilled McDonnell is going back to shoveling taxpayer dollars their way:
Chris Saxman, a former member of the House of Delegates, works for his family business, Shenandoah Valley Water Co., which distributes beverages, including water. He says they encourage recycling and balks at Kaine's singling out of water bottles over soda bottles.
According to Corporate Accountability International, Virginia taxpayers paid Shenandoah Valley Water Co. over $100,000 for bottled water in FY09. Somehow, Olympia Meola of the Times-Dispatch didn't see fit to mention that. Seems relevant, no?

If state agencies have a choice between using tap water & bottled water, every dollar spent on bottled water is taxpayer money wasted. Even though Americans spend $15 billion a year on bottled water, there's no evidence it's better for you than tap water (in fact, it could be worse). 

The petroleum needed to make the plastic bottles hurts our energy security -- the 1.5 million barrels of petroleum used to make water bottles each year could fuel 100,000 cars. The gas needed to fuel trucks to deliver bottled water wastes energy and pollutes our air & water. And on & on. You can learn more at ThinkOutsideTheBottle.org.
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