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Who’s being fooled? PRESCHOOL KINDERGARTEN ALL AUSTIN COOPERATIVE PARENT PARTICIPATION 345-0453 Austin, Pasadena For the past two legislative sessions, State Rep. Rex Braun of Houston has led the unsuccessful battle for tougher pollution control laws. The conservative Democrats who run the Legislature scuttled most of his bills and treated him like a hopelessly idealistic, if abrasive, Don Quixote lamely tilting’ at corporate windmills. Now Braun has the ironic pleasure of watching almost every politician in the state and nation jumping onto the environmental bandwagon. Here are some of the rather bitter comments Braun made at Earth Day sessions on the San Jacinto College and UT-Austin campuses: “Three years ago when I was first sworn in as a member of the Texas House of Representatives, there weren’t a handful of my colleagues who had ever heard the word ‘ecology,’ much less knew its meaning. I was considered something of a fire and brimstone radical for daring to suggest that several of our bluest blue-chip corporations were using the air and water as a sewage system for their industrial garbage. Those in the inner circle of the Legislative Establishment regarded me with the insufferable scorn because I viewed the work of the two Texas agencies set up to control pollution of the air and water with the utmost contempt. I still consider those agencies as polluter-oriented, but their rhetoric has improved considerably. “It is with some amusement that I note that several of those public officials most responsible for blocking my efforts to enact tough and effective anti-pollution legislation are now behaving as if they had invented the environment. Ben Barnes, who was then Speaker of the House, bottled up my bills in committees so tightly and for so long that I only got them pushed through on the floor with his embarrassingly fast gavel after I threatened to expose what he was doing in a press release. Preston Smith, who was Lieutenant Governor at the time, let my bills die in committee without even the decency of a hearing. “Well, how times change. Barnes speaks tonight at the University of Texas on the state laws governing pollution, and Preston Smith continually celebrates his role in the battle against pollution. “Escalation of anti-pollution rhetoric by those politians allied with the industrial polluters is no substitute for thorough and effective action to toughen existing laws and to enforce those now on the books. I encourage you to keep a vigilant eye on the performance-gap of the politicians. . ..” “You cannot obtain a perspective on the role of Texas state government in regulating pollution of the air and water without viewing all of its regulatory efforts in every field. Regulation of economic interests in Texas is best characterized by the classic example of the fox guarding the hen house. It is a case of philosophical corruption at its worst. Blame for this sorry state of affairs is not easy to fix, but public apathy and indifference, when coupled with Texas’ monolithic politico-economic structure, has led to a permissive state of affairs that has allowed the special interest polluters to destroy the environment. “The economics of pollution control cannot be separated from the politics of it, and in our state government money talks in a very loud and persuasive voice. The Texas Manufacturers Association, the Texas Chemical Council, and a host of individual industrial polluters, like Armco Steel, have influential lobbyists in Austin during Legislative sessions and they spend a great deal of money on political campaigns. Consequently, they have in the past been able to defeat every really effective bill to combat pollution that has been introduced. The powers-that-be in the Legislature have played with my anti-pollution measures as if they were yo-yos; in the 60th Legislature they let them pass in the House and get defeated in the Senate; in the 61st Legislature they passed in the Senate but were buried in the hostile state affairs committee in the House. “In the fall of 1969 when the governor had five vacancies to fill on the Texas Air Pollution Control Board, I wrote him and pleaded with him to appoint five anti-pollution hawks instead of doves. He responded by appointing what I consider to be one and a half hawks, the rest doves. “The variance situation the system of granting permits to pollute has been a moral scandal, in my opinion. The emission standards allowed for pollutants by both the Air Control Board and the Water Quality Board are woefully inadequate. Thanks to federal pressures, the air board is now in the process of revising their emission standards so that they will measure up to the federal requirements. “The fundamental difference between action and the mere appearance of action is nowhere more obvious than in the role Texas state government is playing in the battle against pollution. Sham battles, pious rhetoric, celebration of actions which are too little and too late, tough talk against minor offenders while the really big industrial polluters get off with only a wrist-slapping all these are part of the game plan. Up to this point it has indeed fooled most of the people, and I hope that Lincoln was right when he said that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” 1 1 Good Job, Sen. Yarborough BUMPERSTRIPS: 4 for 50c, 15 for $1, 100 for $3, 500 for $14, 1,000 for $25. Send. check and Zip Code; we pay postage and tax: 1117 FUTURA PRESS Phone 512/442-7836 1714 SOUTH CONGRESS P.O. BOX 3485 AUSTIN, TEXAS MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada 1001 Century Building Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 MEETINGS THE THURSDAY CLUB of Dallas meets each Downtown YMCA, 605 No. Ervay St., Dallas. Good discussion. You’re welcome. Informal, no dues. CENTRAL TEXAS ACLU luncheon meeting. Spanish Village. 2nd Friday every month. From noon. All welcome. CLASSIFIED BOOKPLATES. Free catalog. Many beautiful designs. Special designing too. Address: BOOKPLATES, P.O. Box 28-I, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387. ANNE’S TYPING SERVICE \(Marjorie Anne Binding, Mailing, Public. Notary. Twenty years experience. Call 442-7008 or 442-0170, Austin. WANTED: Adoptive homes for mixed race and handicapped children. If you have room for another child in your heart and home call Mrs. Anderson at Travis County Child Welfare, 444-0511. ASTROLOGY in Houston: Full chart service available. Special consultations by arrangement. 668-3107. Mar 15, 1970 7