Libertarians Outraged by Clean Air Force Plans

RECEIVED Mon., Feb. 9, 2004

   You may be interested to know that after 10 years of diligent work the Clean Air Force has presented its plan for cleaning Centex air. It will cost between $200 million and $300 million over five years and lower our ozone level by one part per billion. That stunning result will be achieved just about the time that our ozone level has already permanently declined to less than 85 parts per billion. I am not making this up.
   The plan has received the blessing of every elected politician, conservative and liberal, in the five county area save the city of San Marcos where some of the council members have science degrees. They were smart enough to reject the most expensive and least effective part of the plan – tailpipe testing of vehicles. While tailpipe testing will reduce ozone levels in suburban areas, it will cause ozone to increase in downtown, East Austin, and parts of North Austin. I am not making this up.
   Meanwhile the Clean Air Force has given its blessing to Austin Energy's plan to build new power generation facilities in Austin neighborhoods. They are small enough to escape regulation but numerous enough to cancel out any benefits of tailpipe testing. The Libertarian Party suggested that new capacity be sited at least 75 miles downwind of our air supply, but Democrats and Republicans thought that that was unreasonable. I couldn't make this up.
Vincent J. May
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