The April 12 issue of New Times contains an opinion by COLAB representative Mike Brown, which blasts local air pollution regulations (“Airing grievances”). Disregarded is the public good in favor of practices to benefit COLAB members’ businesses and aspirations for agricultural land development.
Mr. Brown spews a position that, because the quantity of local air pollutants is small when contrasted with a metropolitan area, the amount of local pollutants is “meaningless” and should not be regulated. (Similarly, perhaps the relatively small amount of income tax generated locally should be dismissed since it provides a meaningless contribution to national defense and other protections.)
Although smart-growth patterns efficiently centralize development in urban areas, Mr. Brown complains about new remote rural housing development being treated less favorably than new urban housing. He ignores higher public costs associated with added road trip miles to serve rural development. In addition to costs of air pollution, added road miles mean more costly road maintenance and costly provision of transit, police, and fire services.