While refusing to fund the purchase of a Mass Spectrometer for DEQ:
The bill contains similar funding to the House version, which Senate leadership rejected outright last month. But instead of directing the state Department of Environmental Quality to buy a high-resolution mass spectrometer, the Senate version tells DEQ to use spectrometers already in place on public university campuses.
In addition to $2.4 million in new, one-time money, the Senate bill would re-direct $1 million a year in university system funding to the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which is run by Jeffrey Warren, a former science adviser to Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger.
And as a glaring example of Berger's failure to grasp irony, the bill also directs DEQ to cooperate with an EPA investigation that a) Doesn't exist yet because Trudy Wade and her Three Mouseketeers just asked for it, and b) Is based on DEQ's alleged inability to perform tasks the NCGA has seriously cut funding for. But irony aside for the moment, let's talk about that Collaboratory. Warren is actually the Research Director now and not the Director/Director, and he does have some serious scientific creds. That being said, it's all about the mission he's been given by Berger, and that mission focuses way too heavily on economics and not nearly enough on actual scientific solutions to water quality issues. From the Collaboratory's project on Jordan Lake: