Earth Day and Political Correctness
Political Correctness is ruining economic prosperity and the capability of America to produce manufactured products. The reason for this letter is to point out that all of the engineers and technicians that I know, and including myself, are all interested in preserving clean air, clean water and a healthy environment.
As Earth Day is celebrated this week, I ask all of the readers of this Blog to THINK about how the pendulum has swung from a badly needed EPA in 1970 to an EPA that is now out of control and is weakening America’s productive capacity. (I should point out, that in the local example of ALCOA and the EPA, it is my understanding that ALCOA has done everything and then some that the EPA has requested to remediate damage to the River. In other words, no problem locally with the EPA or DENR)
Let me cite two examples: One is the local issue of fighting ALCOA in their path to obtain a new license for their dams on the Yadkin River. Do you remember how this struggle to fight ALCOA was started and ALCOA’s record as a Good Steward besmirched? It was by blaming ALCOA for the pollutants in the river that came from other sources upstream. Mainly, PCB’s that remain in the environment decades after the oil was sprayed on rural roads to keep dust down. The source of the PCB bearing oils is not and never will be known for sure. This has been widely reported so I will not dwell on it.
The point is, when Citizens or groups want to attack a business or industry a convenient path is to claim that they are polluters. The facts do not even have to be near correct. Then, people who are not involved in the details, have not done research are drawn into the struggle and the default position is to be on the side of “Clean Water” and fight the industry. Whether it is a coal fueled power plant or a steel mill it does not matter. The environmental extremists will fight it. So it has been here in Stanly County.
Sure, there is the greed and power (political power, not electric power) drivers as well. My point is, the mechanism to fight industry has a familiar modus operandi.
On a National basis, I see the “War on Carbon” as one that has most of the media, entertainment and yes, even many of the next generation of youth taught how carbon is causing “Climate Change” and destroying the planet. Yes, I work in the power industry and in particular coal power. So, I am experienced from five decades of working in this industry. But let me point out how 49 Astronaut’s have written a letter to NASA’s Director and asked that NASA, the once premier scientific body of America, has also become “Politically Correct” and these Astronauts have asked NASA to look at “Empirical Evidence, rather than Climate Models”. (Check the link: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/10/hansen-and-schmidt-of-nasa-gi... )
My point is, if you are concerned about the economy (local or Nationwide), gasoline prices, too many imports from China and not enough manufacturing in America, then the next time you write a check or support any organization that promotes clean air and clean water, do a little research to see how they use the funds. It has been reported that 501 C 3, non profit environmental organizations have over $2 Billion Dollars to fight coal, fight industry and promote their agenda (Hint: their agenda may not be in the best interests of America and my grandchildren’s capability to enjoy a lifestyle as good as mine).
We now have over regulation that is damaging America’s productive capacity. Most of it is environmentally driven. The current environmental laws are sufficient to protect our air and water. I will repeat myself, just to be clear. I am also interested 100% in clean air and clean water. I am also interested in seeing America remain strong and to provide a good living for our Citizens. Above average lifestyles require good jobs and use of energy. ALCOA ‘s relicensing of the Dam’s and economic development plans are the best chance this County has to improve our economic prosperity and opportunities to improve education. (it would also show that our County is no longer anti business)
When you celebrate Earth Day, please consider the consequences of over regulation and environmental rules that are not based on scientific facts.
Locally, and for the next election support County Commissioners that are Pro Business and also care about clean air and water!
Richard F. Storm, PE
Citizens for Common Sense in Energy and Environmental Policies, LLC