She blinded them with science

The NC GOP doesn't like science. It tells them that man-made climate change is causing sea level rise, so they outlaw the use of scientific projections of sea level rise.

Now, after science tells them that reducing air pollution save lives, they want to stop monitoring air pollution.

Stronger emission controls in North Carolina may have saved lives by reducing deaths from respiratory illness, according to an academic study published Monday.

During the past few decades, the state has tightened its air quality standards through adherence to federal legislation such as the Clean Air Act and the state’s 2002 Clean Smokestacks Act. The state’s success in reducing air pollution may explain a substantial decline in deaths from the respiratory illnesses asthma and emphysema during corresponding periods, reported Duke University scientists in the International Journal of COPD on Monday.

The release of the study comes as state lawmakers are considering legislation this week that eliminates some of the state’s air-quality stations, part of the framework for measuring pollution across the state.

What do you do when the data points out your wrongheadedness? Either outlaw the use of the data or remove the ability to collect the data.

Sheila Holman, the director of the Division of Air Quality at the N.C. Department of Environment and Nature Resources, documented the decline in emissions and improvement to air quality since the passage of the Clean Smokestacks Act. She partnered with Duke researchers on the project and believes the improvements to air quality have improved health.

“Here was some evidence that we did have an impact on the public health of North Carolina,” Holman said.


Why remove existing air quality monitors?

A sponsor of the moronic bill to remove existing air quality monitors offers this convoluted explanation:

Sen. Trudy Wade, a Republican from Greensboro who is a co-sponsor of the bill, has said in public legislative discussions that it was prompted by the looming EPA regulations, which could require more monitoring of specific sources of pollution, such as large industrial plants, instead of the more common ambient monitoring of general air quality in a region.

Wade said that could prompt a realignment of monitors, and so the state had to be in a position to use its resources to best advantage.

Wait -- the EPA might require more monitors, so your solution is to get rid of existing monitors? Or maybe it's a cost thing?

The cost savings would be minimal.

So what do the scientists say?

“How are we better off knowing less about our air quality?” said Molly Diggins, state director for the Sierra Club. “And how can we keep our air quality from deteriorating if we remove a primary source of data in our communities?”

“That’s why we’re baffled by this legislation,” [DENR spokesman Tom] Mather said.

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

So ...

... which legislator has a financial interest (or a family member with a financial interest) in a current or potential manufacturing or industrial facility that will be belching crap into the air near a cluster of these monitoring stations?

I'm asking because, at this point, money and corruption are the first answer I look for with _anything_ this legislature does.

These three

are listed in the cited article:

• The one set up on Blackstone Drive in Sanford to help monitor pollution from potential fracking operations in Lee County.

• The device at the sulfur smelting plant at Bayview Ferry on the Pamlico River in Bath, where neighbors have long complained of the odor.

• The monitor across the street from a proposed massive coal-fired cement plant in Castle Hayne in New Hanover County that community activists and environmentalists have been fighting for six years. The plant is not far from two new schools and next to the Northeast Cape Fear River.

Of course, lots of legislators have an interest in not letting people know how much pollution fracking is causing. It would be interesting to know who's got connections to sulfur smelting, Titan Cement and others.

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

Titan Cement is a big one

There's been a lot of speculation by environmentalists who oppose that mercury-spewing monstrosity that the company has low-balled their emissions estimates for the proposed coal-burning facility, and getting rid of that monitor is bound to be in Titan's best interests.

It's been a while since I've tried to follow their money trail, and now seems like a damned good time to do it again.