Advocacy group Food & Water Action on Wednesday demanded all White House hopefuls publicly oppose water privatization after Sen. Elizabeth Warren became the second 2020 candidate to do so.
“As the country continues to grapple with how to respond to climate change, federal investment in publicly controlled water should be at the forefront of the conversation as part of a just and fair transition to 100 percent renewable energy,” Food & Water Action executive director Wenonah Hauter said in a statement. “We need presidential candidates who recognize the importance of keeping water in public hands, no ifs, ands, or buts.”
Hauter’s comments follow Warren’s release Wednesday of her plan to “center environmental justice in the fight to end the climate crisis.”
In the plan, Warren affirms that “access to clean water is a basic human right.” She notes how “runoff into rivers and streams by Big Agriculture has poisoned [rural communities’] drinking water. In urban areas, lack of infrastructure investment has resulted in lead and other poisons seeping into aging community water systems.”
Warren outlines a number of steps her administration would take to ensure all communities have access to safe drinking water. They include a vow that water systems would be in the public hands. She wrote:
Other steps she says a Warren White House would take include reinstating the recently revoked Obama-era Waters of the United States rule, declaring PFAS a hazardous substance, enforcing the Safe Drinking Water Act standards for all public water systems, helping infrastructure by fully funding the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, and increasing funding for the Conservation Stewardship Program to tackle runoff.
“America’s water is a public asset and should be owned by and for the public.”
—Sen. Elizabeth WarrenAnother Democratic 2020 presidential candidate has previously spoken out against water privatization: Sen. Bernie Sanders (V-Vt.).
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT