Clean-air activists lobby v Attempts to reduce or eliminate tougher clean air standards for acid rain, toxic air pollutants, auto emissions, and visibility deterioration, are expected to be the focus of heavy lobbying by the polluting industries this year as the federal Clean Air Act comes up for congressional reauthorization. An expected gutting of the Act last year, under pressure from the Reagan Administration, didn’t happen, thanks to a massive grass-roots effort to save it, National Clean Air Coalition staffers told more than 140 activists from around the country, who attended a three day workshop and lobbying session in Washington, February 25-28. But now, they say, that effort must be intensified. For Texans, on-going lobbying is critical. Four Texas congressmen sit on the Energy and Commerce Committee, which will rewrite the House version of the Act, and Lloyd Bentsen sits on the equivalent senate committee. Of the four representatives, Mickey Leland of Houston and Dallas’s John Bryant are considered to be critical voices and votes in getting a decent bill out of that committee. Texas Air Control Board staffers believe the stringent auto emission standards are the most important parts of the act to save, but acid rain may prove to be a serious future problem since the TACB has only recently begun to monitor pH levels. Increased rainfall acidity has been recorded in East Texas and Galveston, and a 1979 study done for EPA projects 141 coal and lignite plants for Texas by the year 2000. Another factor will be the increased sulphur emmissions from Texas’ refineries along the Gulf Coast as they switch from sweet crude \(low in high in beginning. One more important area needing congressional action: there are only four toxic air pollutants now regulated by EPA with three more due to be added under court order. That leaves 37 unregulated air-borne pollutants known or suspected to be carcinogenic, mutagenic or otherwise healththreatening, which EPA stubbornly refuses to regulate, even though the Act clearly authorizes the agency to do so. the 37, even though EPA’s own estimates show that as much as 84 pounds of Dioxin is released yearly into the air we breathe. It only took 60 pounds of Dioxin to poison Times Beach, Mo., the town EPA bought because the agency determined humans could no longer live there. And in Vietnam, the total amount of Dioxin dumped on that country due to Agent Orange spraying is believed to be about 250 pounds. Betty Brink for SB1, the DWI bill sponsored by Sen. Bill Sarpalius. The committee has recommended that the Sarpalius fee increase be reduced and that the clause which would provide for fine-sharing between cities and counties be deleted. The latter clause, one of the most innovative in the bill, would have eliminated the financial incentive that currently encourages cities to charge offenders with public intoxication instead of DWI because the city collects public intoxification fines, while the county collects DWI fines. 1/ Regarding the seemingly endless litany of lapses in House Speaker Gib Lewis’ original financial statement, State Representative Bob Bush, D-Sherman, was moved to characterize Lewis as “the kind of person who shoots himself in the foot, one toe at a time.” v In the middle of Senate consideration of Governor White’s nominee John B. Coleman for the A&M Board of Regents, state Senators Carlos Truan, D-Corpus Christi, and Bob Vale, D-San Antonio, got into a heated exchange over Vale’s defense of Clements nominee Sam Barshop for the UT Board Gov. Mark White released his $32.9 billion budget proposal just as the Observer was going to press. We’ll have an analysis next issue. of Regents. When Vale called for a Mexican American appointment to a major regents board, Truan accused Vale of hypocrisy, since White had promised such an appointment if Barshop were turned out. This prompted Sen. John Whitmire D-Houston, to call out to fellow Houstonian, Sen. Craig Washington, “If I want to find out how to vote on blacks I look at you. For Mexican Americans I can’t look back there [pointing to Vale and Truan]. They give out mixed signals.” Coleman’s nomination was approved, but consideration of Barshop’s name was delayed for two weeks. Sen. Lloyd Doggett was among those voting for delay rather than for an immediate vote, which would have rejected the appointment. A legislative aide speculated that this was an opportunity for several senators to remind White that they hold votes necessary for the Senate to do his bidding. I,. During an otherwise polite session of the recent LBJ Library Conference on the 50th anniversary of the New Deal, William Rusher of National Review attacked the waste and abuses caused by federal social programs by trotting out his favorite horse, food stamp abuse, for another whipping. Vernon Jordan, former director of the Urban League, responded: “What I want to say about the food stamp program is that ya’ll ought to pick on someone your own size. I mean it. Leave them alone. They’re hungry.” v Former UT dean John Silber is doing the Reagan Administration one better. When the government announced plans to deny federal education loans to male college students who had not registered for the draft, Silber, president of Boston University, broadened that at his school to deny all loans and financial assistance to those failing to register. HEALTHY LUNCH SUNDAY BRUNCH … AND SANDWICHES, CHILI, TACOS, CHALUPAS, AND RESTAURANT BAKED DESSERTS. JUSTIN’S ICE CREAM AND FRESH YOGHURT. SOUP AND SALAD BAR. 11:30 AM UNTIL 5:00 PM MONDAY THRU SUNDAY. 224-4515 Good books in every field JENKINS PUBLISHING CO. The Pemberton Press John H. Jenkins, Publisher Box 2085 Austin 78768 S s I 4 / I e ,5.0/ . THE GREENHOUSE ABOVE THE KANGAROO COURT DOWNTOWN RIVERWALK 314 NORTH PRESA SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS 18 MARCH 25, 1983
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