Daily Archives: August 14, 2018

Tell the EPA don’t restrict the use of science

It is vitally important that the Environmental Protection Agency rely on the best possible science to ensure that we have clean air and clean water.   I believe that the EPA’s refusal to factor in the most recent science hurt our community’s efforts to fight TEP’s permit for the 10 RICE gas-fired engines.  And now the EPA is proposing a new rule that would further restrict the agency’s ability to rely on the best available science!

I recently received a response from the Pima Department of Environmental Quality regarding the public comments submitted on TEP’s permit to install the 10 RICE gas-fired engines in Tucson. I want to thank the members of Sustainable Tucson, the Sierra Club, and other community members who took the time to go on record regarding this important issue. While our letters didn’t result in PDEQ rejecting TEP’s permit, we did slow down the process. (It took five months for them to review the comments and approve it.) And they did revise a number of permit conditions including: annual monitoring and reporting to provide reasonable assurance of compliance with the carbon monoxide emission limits for the RICE, and a condition that they would decommission the old generators before the new engines are installed.

Summary of their decision.

Within 30 days after service of this notice announcing the final permit decision, any person who filed comments on the proposed permit for the TEP Irvington Generating Station or participated in any of the public hearings for the TEP Irvington Generating Station may petition EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) to review any condition of the final permit.

One of the problems our community faced in responding to how TEP’s permit complied with PDEQ’s code was the absence of carbon dioxide standards. That’s right! The code doesn’t include carbon dioxide standards because Scott Pruitt put a hold on the Clean Power Plan.  This is just one example of how vital it is for the EPA rely on the best available science when making decisions!

Now the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a rule that would restrict the agency’s ability to rely on the best available science.  According tho the Union of Concerned Scientist, this is nothing more than an attempt to undermine the EPA’s mission to protect public health and the environment. Our air, water, and health all rely on the EPA using the best available science in decision making.

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Those who do not vote decide elections as much as those who do

Those who do not vote are as responsible for the outcome of an election as those who do (especially in a low voter participation state like Arizona). New data makes it clear: Nonvoters handed Trump the presidency:

[The] Pew Research Center released an unusually robust survey of the 2016 electorate. In addition to having asked people how they voted, Pew’s team verified that they did, giving us a picture not only of the electorate but also of those who didn’t vote. There are a number of interesting details that emerge from that research, including a breakdown of President Trump’s support that confirms much of his base has backed him enthusiastically since the Republican primaries.

The data also makes another point very clear: Those who didn’t vote are as responsible for the outcome of the election as those who did. As we noted shortly after the election, about 30 percent of Americans were eligible to vote but decided not to, a higher percentage than the portion of the country who voted for either Trump or his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. Pew’s data shows that almost half of the nonvoters were nonwhite and two-thirds were under age 50. More than half of those who didn’t vote earned less than $30,000 a year; more than half of those who did vote were over age 50.

Pew Research

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NRSC asks Trump to endorse McSally, he is noncommittal (so sad!)

POLITICO reported last week that the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) asked President Donald Trump to intervene in the Arizona GOP Senate primary amid rising fears that the GOP will nominate an unelectable candidate and cede the seat to Democrats in November. Republicans ask Trump to intervene in contentious Arizona primary:

During a recent phone call, NRSC Chairman Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) asked the president to endorse GOP Rep. Martha McSally, widely viewed as the establishment favorite in the Aug. 28 primary, according to two senior Republicans familiar with the conversation.

Trump, according to one of the Republicans, was noncommittal and did not say yes or no to the request.

Maybe this is because McSally was noncommittal to Donald Trump in 2016, and Trump never forgets nor forgives those whom he perceives did him wrong. He is a vindictive man. If Trump endorses anyone, I would think it would be his loyal supporter, partner in crime and coconspirator in the Obama birther conspiracy, crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio. Trump already quasi-endorsed Arpaio with his politically motivated pardon of Arpaio. Just make it official.

McSally is facing former state Sen. Kelli Ward and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, both of whom are running as conservative insurgents. Polls have consistently shown McSally leading in the primary, but Republicans fear that if Ward or Arpaio wins the nomination, it would effectively hand a victory to the expected Democratic nominee, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.

Neither the White House nor the NRSC would comment.

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No on Prop. 126, the false and purposefully misleading Protect Arizona Taxpayers Act

The so-called Citizens for Fair Tax Policy Committee (it is actually the Arizona Association of Realtors)  is already running television ads for Prop. 126, a constitutional amendment titled the Protect Arizona Taxpayers Act.

Screen Shot 2018-08-14 at 12.17.18 PM

You have to go to their website to see a copy of this false and purposefully misleading ad designed to dupe the public. https://protectaztaxpayers.com.

This is a special interest initiative, not a true citizens initiative. And it is yet another example of an anti-tax ballot measure of the type that has gotten Arizona into the revenue deficit problem we have today.

It is a preemptive measure which is a solution in search of a non-existent problem — services are not subject to sales tax in Arizona — and likely will never be because of Prop. 108 (1992) the “Two-Thirds for Taxes Amendment,” the GOP’s weapon of mass destruction which requires a two-thirds vote of each legislative chamber either to impose a new tax, or to eliminate or reduce a tax credit or tax exemption.

The legislature’s renewal of the school sales tax this past session to avoid sending it to the ballot for renewal was the first time since Prop. 108 passed in 1992 that the legislature has voted in favor of a new tax.

Annual attempts to clean up Arizona’s antiquated tax exemptions have been snuffed out by the special interests that benefit from them. There is no real threat of services being taxed.

A constitutional amendment to address a non-existent problem is the height of bad public policy.

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Tucson’s Birthday Bike Ride on August 18

Hosted by Living Streets Alliance

August 18,  6 to 9 p.m.

“Who wouldn’t rather be in Tucson, especially in August?! If that’s you, then you’ll fit right in on this easy, social bike ride in honor of Tucson’s birthday.

We’ll gather at the Julian Wash Archeological Park, 2820 S. 12th Ave. around 6pm and head north along the Santa Cruz River Park section of the Loop multi use path to arrive at the Mercado Annex for DJs, some dancing, drinks, and a very special birthday celebration in honor of our favorite city. Check out the bike route in the comments section.

This is a free event, but bring some cash to support local businesses at the Mercado Annex. There will be drink specials on all Tucson beers atWestbound, food available for purchase at Beaut Burger, and special surprises for Tucson’s birthday.

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