I posted recently about Governor Rick Perry’s pick for the top environmental position in Texas:
Governor Rick Perry of Texas Pokes The Eye of the Federal EPA and Appoints a Climate Change Denier to be the State’s Top Environmental Official
New appointments at TCEQ leave Texas with little hope for clean air or safe water. TCEQ oversees and establishes policy for the state’s lead environmental permitting and enforcement agency.
Rick Perry appointed climate denier, Brian Shaw who doesn’t believe that anything humans do has anything to do with global warming as presiding officer of the commission effective Sept. 10, 2009. See press release for more.
Shaw wasted no time pushing his denial onto the Texas public with a Letter to the Editor in the Dallas Morning News:
Several recent articles and editorials in the D-FW area have misinformed citizens about area air quality.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has taken proactive, aggressive measures to improve air quality in Texas. In fact, air emissions and pollution concentrations in our state are at their lowest level in the past 20 years.
In the D-FW area, the ozone measurement the EPA uses to designate areas as being in attainment or in nonattainment of ozone standards has dropped from 102 ppb (parts per billion) in 2000 to 91 ppb in 2008, and, if current trends hold, it will be 86 ppb at the end of the 2009 ozone season. Yes, that is one part per billion over the Environmental Protection Agency goal of 85 ppb.
Texas is making tremendous improvements to air quality even as our population continues to increase by more than 1,000 people a day.
The D-FW area met the old one-hour ozone standard in 2006, and we are very close to meeting the 85 ppb ozone standard that has been in effect since 1997. Now, the EPA has moved the standard to 75 ppb. We will meet the 85 ppb standard on the way to meeting the 75 ppb standard.
Bryan W. Shaw, TCEQ commissioner, Austin
Huh? Did he really use “tremendous improvements” in connection with Texas air quality? This is a perfect opportunity for my all-time favorite quote from the movie Cold Mountain delivered by Ruby who was played by Rene Zellweger:
That man is so full of manure we could plant him and grow another one!
Today the Dallas/Fort Worth area had ANOTHER ORANGE ALERT unlike Houston, Austin and the other 9 communities participating in the Ozone Forecast Program.
The American Lung Association gives Dallas, Tarrant and Denton Counties a grade of
for our air quality. When I was in school, an “F” meant you failed.
Thankfully, I’m not the only one skeptical about Shaw’s sincerity and his claim of improved air. Here’s a rebuttal to his letter:
RE: “TCEQ at work on dirty air,” by Bryan W. Shaw, Tuesday Letters.
If, as Shaw would have us believe, air quality in North Texas is rapidly improving (and, in the spirit of full disclosure, I don’t), it has very little to do with the decisions made by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality leadership.
While many staffers within the agency work diligently to improve environmental quality in Texas, Shaw and his buddies at the top of the TCEQ food chain consistently undermine efforts at true ecological protection.
Texas families deserve better than the type of Janus-faced, polluter-centric apologia that Bryan Shaw’s statements in this newspaper and as a commissioner so often epitomize.
Jeffrey Jacoby, program director, Texas Campaign for the Environment, Dallas