Dallas-Fort Worth's Air Could Be Cleanest Ever By Next Summer. He Said Sarcastically.

Categories: The Environment

Dallas_smog1.jpg
Sierra Club
It was early November when watchdog group Downwinders At Risk found out that Dallas-Fort Worth had set off air-quality monitors more times than Houston in 2011. Yep, America's petrochemical hub violated EPA standards less often than we did. Depressing, right?

As you may recall, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality was set to submit a State Implementation Plan to the EPA outlining how it intends to curb smog. In DFW, emissions from vehicles account for half of all ozone-causing pollution. TCEQ's proposed fix? "Fleet turnover," which is a fancy way of saying, "Golly, we hope Texans buy a bunch of new cars with all that extra money they have lying around."

Incentives for the public to buy newer, cleaner-burning cars were instituted. Or they were, anyway, until the 82nd Legislature gutted funding for the Drive A Clean Machine Program by 88 percent. We guess it's up to the Invisible Hand of the Market to fight pollution now.

Imagine our surprise, then, when we learned from Downwinders director Jim Schermbeck that TCEQ says its computer models predict this proposed plan -- in large part castrated by an environmental regulation-detesting legislature and a governor with designs on the White House -- could result in the lowest levels of smog DFW has seen since we began monitoring air quality.

"That sounds like quite a challenge, especially with the Texas drought continuing," Schermbeck began, "until you factor in that Hell will be freezing as well, cooling everything off in general.

"Our own computer modeling shows that by next summer pigs will be flying and Kim Kardashian will be married for life."

So, we guess that means Schermbeck is skeptical. Fair enough. After all, no previous plan has ever brought the region into compliance with air quality standards. And even after the president shelved more stringent standards proposed by the EPA in the interest of removing obstacles to a lurching economy in September, we've consistently failed to meet the old ones.

"They don't want to impose anything that would look like heavy handed regulation on industry," Schermbeck says. Here's the Downwinders' look-see at reality versus fiction.

dfwairqualitymonitor.jpg
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6 comments
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G_David
G_David

I'm skeptical as well.  But I have to admit that as an avid cyclist, I breathed more easily this summer than I have in any of the last 10.  Might be a coincidence, but I doubt it.

jfpo
jfpo

The obvious solution is to eliminate the EPA, pray for rain and, most importantly, ban abortion. Only then will Jesus smile upon Texas.

RTGolden
RTGolden

I'm not so sure.  The last time Jesus smiled on a semi-arid region with mediocre beaches and a caste population rife with racism governed by 'elected' officials in a far-off place who had bought by banks......., they nailed him to a cross.

jfpo
jfpo

You may have a point. If Jesus returned tomorrow and jumped out in front of a typical Fox News Christian blathering about "rendering unto Caesar" and "blessed are the poor," he would be, at best, labeled a dirty hippie libtard who needs to get a job.

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