Monday, February 25, 2008

Statewide Air Quality Alert Extended All Day: Does The Pro-Pollution WMC Have A Solution

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has extended its weekend statewide air quality alert through this evening, which means when it rains and snows later today, that's toxic precipitation landing on your yard and poisonous particulate matter in the air that is burying itself into your lungs.

And those of your kids and grandparents, too.

You will recall that the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the state's leading business lobby, last year advocated rolling back air quality standards for southeastern Wisconsin, home to most of the state's polluting industry and vehicle traffic.

What is the WMC's approach now that these alerts have been coming repeatedly this fall and winter, and are not just the summertime notices that discourage people from playing sports and otherwise exerting themselves in heavy, moisture-laden, warm air?

Issue every Wisconsinite a portable breathing apparatus?

Mandate regular lung capacity checkups in health insurance policies?

Hand out free asthma medicines at WMC's lobbying offices in Madison to low-income, elderly and children especially vulnerable to lung diseases?

Why not give them a call and ask: 1-608-258-3400, or head for the group's website, with other contact and issue information, here.

You could also ask them why the organization is suggesting that the GOP-led state Assembly derail the Great Lakes Compact, too - - exposing the Great Lakes to whimsical and damaging exploitation through diversions without standards or controls.

The WMC is always worrying aloud about the business climate in Wisconsin (see a nice dissection of this faux issue by Paul Soglin, here) but when you look at its recent record, it seems as if its goals are to run down the state with endless complaints while blocking statewide resource protections that are in the widespread interest of Wisconsin residents.

So on the issue of helping to end the growing list of dirty air alerts in Wisconsin - - a state that needs to bring in tourists and encourage its residents to make the state their long-term home, here's a simple suggestion:

Taking a stand on the actual climate on behalf of business owners and employees who live here instead of whipping up negative media about the business climate in Wisconsin.

That stand would also be on behalf of the rest of us who like to buy locally - - but also want to breathe what is a common resource - - the air.

So to the WMC I say: be a strong advocate for air pollution standards that are better than what we have now, since current standards and practices are giving all of us - - and that includes WMC members - - the air quality of a cruddy day in LA.

Is that how to sell this region?


Joseph Thomas Klein said...

"I wonder how many times you have to be hit on the head before you find out who's hitting you? It's about time that the people of America realized what the Republicans have been doing to them."

-- Harry S. Truman

Anonymous said...

When will the general public realize that the WMC is public enemy number 1 in Wisconsin? Selfish, greedy thugs. Its righteous to go after them with the truth. Thanks!