Washington, D.C.—The Senate today rejected, 43 to 56, an amendment reauthorizing the Superfund tax. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, made the following statement:
“The Senate today rightly rejected the unfair imposition of a tax that penalizes companies that follow sound environmental practices and abide by the law. Under existing law, identifiable and viable parties responsible for contamination at specific Superfund sites already pay for clean up costs. This tax would have applied to everyone, regardless of culpability. The rhetoric to the contrary is simply false.
“Moreover, despite claims made by supporters of the tax, there is no correlation between money raised by the tax and the dollars spent on clean up. For example, the tax reached its highest level in 1996, yet the amount spent by the Clinton Administration for Superfund clean up was near a 10-year low.
“President Bush has taken the right approach on Superfund. His FY 2004 Budget increases spending on Superfund clean ups by $150 million. This money will go directly to clean up 10 to 15 sites. And it lays the foundation for broader reform of the Superfund program, which I strongly support.”