Can You Blame Pasadena & Baytown For Worrying About Job Losses From Air Curbs?—Solutions Must Come From State And Feds
Houston Mayor Bill White wants to negotiate benzene emissions cuts with industrial plants located outside Houston city limits. Not surprisingly, this idea has run into resistance from the cities where the plants are located.
While Mayor White is doing a good thing, one can also sympathize with the mayors of industrial cities like Pasadena, Baytown and Deer Park. It’s easy to say these small city mayors are beholden to the large industrial facilities in their towns. It’s more difficult to say where the people who live in these towns will find work if the plants go elsewhere.
Solutions to air pollution problems in the Ship Channel and in the Houston area require help from outside our area.
Ideally, Austin would help. That help is not likely to come in this legislative session. Stricter federal regulation would make it more difficult for plants to threaten to move elsewhere. The current administration in Washington is not likely to propose such regulations.
I’ve driven around Pasadena, Baytown and Deer Park. These cities need help. I don’t blame people who are afraid of job losses in these towns.
Efforts by Mayor White for cleaner air are needed. However, real progress is going to have to come from Austin and Washington. Tougher regulation is needed across the board and not just in one metro area or region.