by Craig Masters
- Tea Party Supporters do more than wave flags – they work hard to keep Americans free
According to an e-mail released to Loveland 9-12 subscribers, the Estes Park Tea Party Patriots were @#!*% and ready when the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) rolled into Estes Park September 15, for public hearings prior to adding residents of Estes Park to the emissions testing program already in place in most of Weld and Larimer Counties.
But this time, prepared citizens with logic and reason prevailed. Unlike the outcome of commission votes that imposed emissions testing on Greeley residents, the vote in Estes Park went to the citizens instead of politicians, contractors with sweetheart deals and bureaucrats; all paid with citizen dollars.
An activist group called Citizens for Larimer and Weld County, led by Evelyn King, stressed that citizens do not object to programs that work. “We were deceived”, says King when the program first started in 2007, since tens of millions of dollars have been spent on auto testing, yet ozone readings are higher today, not lower. Ms. King submitted data demonstrating that the Front Range auto emissions testing program was expected to reduce ozone readings by 6/10ths of one percent. Estes Park was estimated to provide just 4/100ths of one percent of the total expected NOx reductions. “We thought the reductions for Larimer County were ridiculously small, but Estes Park is even worse,” said Ms. King. “It can’t possibly be measured.” The Greeley Gazette’s own research has also shown this to be true.
During the hearings, the CAQC presented cost estimates of the program. Those costs included driving round trip to the nearest testing station. But much to the commissioners’ embarrassment, the residents were able to illustrate that the commission’s mileage was a straight line that only a crow could fly. Mr. Doug Decker, from the Air Pollution Control Division, admitted the “crows fly” mileage was clearly a mistake.
Other numbers were put into perspective by an Estes Park resident who commented that the desired reduction of up to 75 parts per billion involves tiny amounts. “One billion seconds is 32 years.” The CAQC was suggesting residents should give the government millions of dollars to buy less than a minute and a half out of 32 years! “It’s a matter of perspective and we’ve lost it,” she said.
A highlight of this hearing was a question in response to the release of information by the commission that “staff” arranged for mobile testing to occur in Estes Park prior to the hearing. This was followed by pointed questions about who funded clean screen testing in an area not yet subject to mandatory testing. It was clear that this testing was done outside of the law and funded by taxpayer money.
Mr. Decker, from the Air Pollution Control Division, described adding the Estes Park area as the “final expansion of the Northern Front Range program.” He presented a model of air flows from July 2, 2007 to demonstrate that air from the Estes valley flows to the Front Range and therefore contributes to regional air quality problems.
But Decker was obviously embarassed when residents pointed out that using July 2 was intentionally deceitful. That might well be the single busiest tourist driving day of the year in Estes Park. If the emissions testing program were to have any impact at all, it would never be possible to measure its impact on a day when nearly every Estes Park resident parks their car to stay out of the traffic.
In the end, the commission voted 5-1 to exclude Estes Park residents from the program now well established as a nuisance tax founded soundly in falsified science and intended only to generate revenue without having to seek voter approval as required by the Colorado Constitution.
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Tags: Air, Air Pollution Control Division, area, caption, CAQC, commission, day, Estes Park, Front Range, Greeley, July, Loveland, Party, perspective, program, Tea, Tea Party, testing, Weld County, work