Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mesa County Commission Rejects Strong Pollution Controls

The Mesa County Commissioners on Monday rejected a request by local citizens to push for stronger smog reduction rules in Colorado.

While it's true that vehicle emissions and other sources of air pollution are contributing to unhealthy air in Mesa County, so is oil and gas development. The Mesa County Commissioners questioned why clean air regulations are targeting oil and gas developments. This question misses the mark by miles.

No one is denying that cars are contributing to unhealthy air in Mesa County. The fact of the matter, however, is that while cars come equipped with pollution controls, the oil and gas industry is virtually unregulated. In fact, according to the state of Colorado, there has been a 16% increase in emissions of smog forming pollutants from oil and gas development in Mesa County.

Adding to this, Mesa County has yet to voice support for air pollution reductions from vehicles. Rocky Mountain Clean Air Action has two words: double standard. Or is that industry apologist?

The silver lining in all this, is that Mesa County voiced support for the Air Pollution Control Division's proposal to reduce emissions of smog forming pollution from oil and gas developments across the state. Mesa County has more work to do, however. Toxic air pollution in Grand Junction, the heart of Mesa County, has reached levels similar to Denver. Mesa County needs to start taking advantage of any opportunity to reduce air pollution. For the health of their citizens, the Commissioners can't afford to simply point fingers.


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