The Corner

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Re: Pollution


Ramesh, I live with an asthmatic
child, so this is not an abstract situation for me. Which is the point I was
trying to make: there is a direct connection between my sick child and
polluting industries located south of my city, industries whose practices
are staunchly defended by a Republican congressman. There are a lot of sick
kids (and adults) in north Texas, which suffers from a high rate of
respiratory disease. GOP candidates can mouth boilerplate all they want, but
we need Republicans like Judge Keliher and other local GOP officials here in
Dallas County who are actually doing something about the problem. Here’s an
e-mail I just got from a veteran NRO-nik who is a Texan and a conservative:

It seems to me that Ramesh is, like many, talking in generalities. Does he
know anything about the Dallas area’s topography? Air flow? Does he know
anything about the manufacture of cement, particularly the particulates it
releases? Does he know anything about the burning of
hazardous waste as fuel in a facility not really intended to control it?

Does Iain Murray really suggest that no restrictions at all is the magic
silver bullet to this problem? That TXI and friends will really just fix all
their problems if we just get government off their backs?

There are several conservative solutions to this problem, including saleable
credits for pollution. Let TXI buy other companies’ unused credits, at
market value, or simply require fewer of them.

Incidentally, I’m not sure whether you were aware of the monstrous tire fire
that happened several years (maybe even a decade) ago in Midlothian.
Thousands and thousands of tires, all burning for 22 days, releasing tons of
particulates and toxic material into the Dallas
atmosphere. What came of those who let such a disaster happen? Is it really
a Republican position that this is somehow “good for business”? “Good for

The reality is that I have a coworker in [north Dallas], a Baby Boomer with
insanely liberal political tendencies. He has made a crack on more than one
occasion that Joe Barton won’t rest until every child in Tarrant, Dallas,
Denton, and Collin counties has asthma. If there is no Republican to stand
up and agree that the cement plants and tire-burning operations south of
Dallas (in Ellis county, mostly)are bad — environmentally and politically
— then the Democrats will eventually win on this.