Do Air Pollution Protections Kill Jobs? Not Exactly.

Do Air Pollution Protections Kill Jobs? Not Exactly.

If you’re like me, you try to stay as informed as possible about current events, trends, and research. I think it’s important to know what’s going on and why so I can contribute positively to my community.

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about rolling back regulations. This isn’t new, by any means. But there has been an increase in this rhetoric (and legislation) in the past couple of years.)

President Trump recently signed an executive order creating a task force to identify so-called “job-killing regulations” to get rid of …

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State of the Air Report Shows Citizen Advocacy and Common-Sense Policies Work

State of the Air Report Shows Citizen Advocacy and Common-Sense Policies Work

The American Lung Association released its annual “State of the Air” report today and it showed that Birmingham has made significant improvements in air quality over recent years. The Birmingham metro area ranked 53rd most polluted for ozone, 22nd most polluted for year-round particles — the region’s best rankings ever. Ozone and particle pollution are criteria air pollutants regulated by the U.S. EPA.

In light of this report, Gasp Executive Director Michael Hansen released this statement:

“Birmingham’s air quality has come a long way since the Clean …

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Alabama Still Threatened by Dirty Energy

Alabama Still Threatened by Dirty Energy

Almost exactly 17 years ago today, I wrote an essay entitled “Fitzgerald’s Fools: Corruption in The Great Gatsby.” The thesis of that paper was that naivete, greed, and fragile masculinity are the toxic cocktail that destroys the American Dream. Daisy Buchanan’s snobbery, Tom Buchanan’s brutishness, and Jay Gatsby’s foolishness are destructive forces that, when combined, ruin lives and crush hope. This is hardly groundbreaking literary analysis, but I couldn’t help but reflect on the novel and that essay when I read this Terry Jarrett op-ed …

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Deadline Nearing for EPA National Priorities List Proposal

Deadline Nearing for EPA National Priorities List Proposal

The deadline to comment on the Proposed Rule No. 61 is two weeks away. The proposal would add north Birmingham’s 35th Avenue Superfund Site to the National Priorities List, an Environmental Protection Agency designation that would allow the federal government to fund the ongoing cleanup of the contaminated area.

Gasp has been working diligently to procure comments on the proposal in light of the state’s obstinate opposition to the listing. In October, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management Director Lance LeFleur and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange both sent …

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Op-Ed: UAB, Public Service Commission operating under same rules

Op-Ed: UAB, Public Service Commission operating under same rules

The following op-ed was published on al.com Tuesday, Dec. 22. View it and weigh in here.

In following recent local news, I am struck by the similar circumstances between the demise of UAB’s football program and the way in which Alabama Power’s electricity rates are determined.

Starting next month, customers will pay 5 percent more for electricity, courtesy of our Public Service Commission’s rate-setting “system.” Around the same time, the UAB Faculty Senate will be taking a no confidence vote in university President Dr. Ray Watts. In both …

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Lack of Health Research Stands in the Way of Progress

Lack of Health Research Stands in the Way of Progress

On Wednesday, July 30, the Jefferson County Department of Health held a press conference in which Jefferson County Health Officer Mark Wilson —€” our Doctor-in-Chief —€” presented “cancer data, death rate data and birth outcome data related to residents’€™ environmental concerns for the North Birmingham area compared to other areas of Jefferson County.” (See below for documents.)

The gist of the presentation was that the residents in the heavily industrial 35207 ZIP code —€” including North Birmingham, Collegeville, Harriman Park and Fairmont €”— do not suffer worse health outcomes than other …

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Letter: PSC Doesn't Regulate Coal Industry

Dear Editor,

I was struck by your story, “Ala. PSC candidates vow to fight for coal” on Sept. 20. The Public Service Commission plays a crucial role in oversight of monopolies like Alabama Power. It does not, however, regulate the coal industry, nor does it influence its jobs or profits. There are state agencies that supervise the coal industry — the Alabama Surface Mining Commission for one — but not the PSC. It is incumbent on the News’ reporters and editors to ensure their readers understand …

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Op-Ed: Alabama Has Great Potential

This op-ed was submitted to the Montgomery Advertiser by Gasp Communications Specialist Michael Hansen. Here it is in its entirety.

 

I made Birmingham my home in 2008 when I moved here to pursue a master’s degree from the University of Alabama. Though it took some getting used to, I quickly fell in love with Alabama’s natural beauty, passionate people, complex history and rich food culture. And most importantly, I know Alabama has the potential to be great.

The sad reality, though, is that we are not great. Alabama …

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