Friday, October 21, 2011

PolitiFact more “politi” than “fact” today

When (in January 2011) the President ordered the EPA to open its ears, and take public comments regarding its regulatory practices, Portland had an opportunity to shine a new spotlight on EPA’s LT2 regulation and the unnecessary expenditures it forces upon our city. Our City Hall submitted, via lazy online form, a handful of disjointed, poorly crafted paragraphs in which only 3 sentences even mentioned LT2. Compare that with New York City’s response to this opportunity – they submitted over 100 pages, on letterhead, with scientific data detailing the flaws of LT2 and its blunt application across all water systems – and you see in New York a city that defines action.

When (in July 2011) New York City’s meaningful, relentless efforts to extract LT2 reform (and save billions of dollars) manifested an official EPA agreement to review and reform LT2 madness, Portland had an opportunity to freeze all spending on every LT2 related project (Powell Butte tanks, Kelley Butte Tanks, Mt. Tabor disconnect). But they didn’t. Instead, our City Hall allows our Water Bureau to move forward with these projects under the claim that they were “in the long-range plan anyway”. We’ll apparently need them in 50 years; never mind we can’t afford to upkeep them for the next 50 years until we need them; never mind that we already have more storage than we can use even without these new tanks; and never mind that the “long-range plan” from which these source was written 20 years ago, based-on what have become obviously incorrect consumption projections, and that the very Consultant who wrote this “long-range plan” now hopes we’ll stick to it no-matter-what because he’ll make billions on the construction of said projects.

Those citizens that read everything related to this issue know that PolitiFact just plain doesn’t get it, that Portland’s City Hall has NOT contributed meaningfully to this fight since 2009, and that there are more than enough examples of this kind of inept inaction to make even the most polite Portlanders hot under the collar.

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