Leading from the Left

Monday, April 02, 2007

Earth Day, Earth Month

I've decided to devote the bulk of my postings for the month of April to environmental issues.

April 22nd is Earth Day. We've got many pressing environmental issues, and I figured one day wasn't nearly enough time to do them justice. The list of environmental concerns demanding attention is long: global warming, energy consumption, renewables, water quality, loss of farmland and forestland to development, air quality, contaminated groundwater, hog waste lagoons, mercury in our food supply, etc.

Six years of the Bush admininstration actively undermining the EPA has taken a toll. The EPA has been saddled with a lack of money, lack of support from the White House, and political appointees who represent business interests rather than the seeking to protect the environment.

And here in NC, our Department of the Environment and Natural Resources continues to be underfunded. For example, the governor's 2007-08 budget calls for the funding of 7 new inspectors for the state's sedimentation program. This makes the third budget cycle in a row that the governor has asked for these positions. In each of the previous years they've been cut by the State House. There are currently 34 inspectors who are charged with inspected something like 7 or 8,000 sedimentation sites in our state. Simply put, that's just not enough staff to do the job. The legislature needs to fund these positions this year. We've waited long enough.

Note: On Thursday April 5th, there is a forum on energy at the Century Center in Carrboro. It starts at 7pm. I'm hoping for a large crowd of individuals who want to reign in our gluttonous consumption of fossil fuels and discuss alternatives such as wind, solar, and creating renewables from biomass. Hope to see you all there.