In their efforts to roll back critical environmental legislation:
As with so many government programs, the Clean Smokestacks Bill is not living up to expectations. Costs are skyrocketing, increasing energy prices and adding insult to an already injured economy. Furthermore, benefits in terms of improved air quality are questionable.
Lawmakers should repeal recent regulations like Senate Bill 3’s renewable energy requirement. They also should abandon all attempts to regulate production and use of energy in the name of fighting global warming.
so-called "experts" repeatedly contradict themselves by attempting to fashion study results into a specific message.
Case in point: the above message is an attempt to demonstrate that no positive environmental impacts, such as ozone depletion, have been realized from the enactment of the Clean Smokestacks legislation passed through the General Assembly back in 2002.
But this very same "expert", just six months ago, had this to say about our state's ozone levels:
"What can be seen easily from the state's own data is that over the last six years there has been a dramatic improvement in ozone levels across North Carolina," said report author Dr. Roy Cordato, JLF Vice President for Research and Resident Scholar. "That improvement has occurred even as the federal government tightened its standards for defining a high-ozone day. Air quality, at least with respect to ozone, has been getting better, not worse."
Why the two conflicting assessments of our air quality? It's pretty simple, actually. Back in September the agenda was to promote the idea that our air quality is just dandy, and no new attempts by the government to clean it up are necessary: "Nothing to worry about, folks."
And to drive that message home about North Carolina's fantastically clean air, the methods other states use to assess air quality is called into question:
North Carolina has 41 monitors across the state. "Clearly, the more monitors a state has, the more likely it is that any one monitor will cross that threshold on any given day," Cordato said. "Different states have different numbers of monitors. The number of monitors within a state also changes. For that reason, comparisons among states that do not adjust for differing numbers of monitors are illegitimate and will always be biased against states with higher-than-average numbers of monitoring sites, such as North Carolina."
But now in March, when the new agenda is to attack the very steps that improved our air quality, all of a sudden other states' methods and statistics are trustworthy and relevant:
If North Carolina is experiencing better year-to-year changes in ozone because of Clean Smokestacks rules, this should be reflected in cross-state comparisons before and after the bill began to have an effect. According to DENR press releases, this means the 2005 ozone season. North Carolina should be doing relatively better than Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia, none of which has similar regulations. “Better” is defined as experiencing a comparatively greater annual percentage decline or a smaller percentage increase in the number of high ozone days. If the bill is working as suggested, there should be an observable improvement in North Carolina’s performance relative to its neighbors after 2005.
The data show no difference. From 2005-2009 North Carolina’s annual improvement rate was at the median twice, worse than the median twice and better than the median once. This is exactly the same result seen from 2000 to 2004.
I am not a scientist; I have no certifications or degrees mounted on my wall. But I do know how to spot inconsistencies and contradictions. If you take the time to backtrack through the findings and conclusions of agenda-driven entities like JLF, you'll spot them, too.
To the best of my knowledge, that is.
BlueNC is dedicated to freedom and fairness for the people of North Carolina. If you share that vision, welcome. If your intention is to disrupt our efforts, please find somewhere else to express your opinions.
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