This week, Governor McDonnell rolled back a directive from former Governor Kaine that orders Virginia state agencies to reduce spending on bottled water.
It's clear that Governor McDonnell's administration would rather line the pockets of the bottled water industry than protect our most precious shared resource.
Tell Governor McDonnell that you won't stand for your taxpayer dollars to be poured down the drain.
Governor, you ran on a campaign platform that promised common-sense steps to curb state spending and protect the environment. Yet, your actions this week seem to suggest you are more interested in protecting cushy state contracts for the bottled water industry than protecting the environment or prioritizing state funding for vital public services.
As we work to stimulate our economy, spending taxpayer money on bottled water is a misallocation of limited resources. For example, in 2007 the city of San Francisco audited its bottled water purchases and found that it was spending nearly $500,000 each year, leading Mayor Newsom to cancel all city-spending on bottled water. Furthermore, bottled water undermines confidence in Virginia public water supply and pollutes the environment. Over 80 percent of these plastic water bottles end up incinerated, buried in our landfills or are discarded as litter. Other state governments (Illinois, New York, Colorado), as well cities, restaurants, institutions, and individuals across the country are taking action to address the environmental and social impacts of bottled water by turning back to the tap and away from expensive, branded bottled water.
Governor McDonnell, I am deeply disappointed that you have failed to take advantage of this leadership opportunity and have prioritized short-term gain for a few private corporations over the public health and the environment of all Virginians.
I welcome your response to this letter.