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Industries at bay: ones to prevail

April 1, 2011
Eric K. Pritchard, Berkeley Springs resident

The panhandle planning commissions will be considering new storm water management legislation from the regional planners whose primary thrust is to benefit Chesapeake Bay industries at our expense and taxes. Basically, poor West Virginia is being called upon to sacrifice for the rich states of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. They want us to help preserve their multi-billion dollar seafood and tourist industries. Are their profits being taxed to assist West Virginia satisfy their need for more profits and higher land values?

This problem is a bit fishy. It has many of the aspects of other eco-legislation, Cap and Trade on carbon dioxide emissions and Climate Change. All blame human activity for what is largely natural. They blame human activity as an excuse to create bigger, more expensive, more intrusive, less responsible government. They want our farmers to less fertilizer, which will reduce their yields and profits for their benefit. They want our housing, commercial, and industrial developments to cost more. They want our recreational facilities to cost more. For example, if someone wanted to build a Field of Dreams, they would have to hire a civil engineering firm (tens of thousands of dollars) to study the water runoff of that baseball field. Ridiculous!

A truly ridiculous aspect of this, like Cap and Trade of carbon dioxide, is the regulatory target is the bottom of our food chain, i.e., food for our food. Carbon dioxide and fertilizer are necessary for plant growth. Limiting them limits our food.

This fishy nature of the Chesapeake Bay problems may also be caused by poor fishery management by the Bay governments. They deal with the multi-faceted Bay ecosystem with overly simplistic rules and regulations. Have they allowed over harvesting of beneficial species or overly restricted the harvesting of predator species? For example, the ban on catching rock fish reduced the crab population. Has scraping the bottom for oysters ruined Bay habitat? Has increased demand for seafood by distant markets produced Bay problems?

Aren't their other, more realistic solutions to this problem? For example, there is a Texas company harvesting the offending algae for bio-fuel.

The irresponsibility of government can also be found in the indirect measurement of progress. It is not the storm water quality is measured, but our storm water management plans are evaluated (at our expense) for the impact upon the Chesapeake Bay and distant profits.

Apparently, the mood of the country for less government and less regulation, so evident in the last election, has not been really appreciated by governments. Apparently, they need to be reminded again and again.

 
 
 

 

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