8:15 a.m. KTSA Morning Edge Commentary 10/4/2002

Comal against tailpipe tests

Citizens' email is routinely ignored in Washington, and to a certain extent in Austin, but email to city and county politicians can have impact.

Comal County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the four-county "Clean Air" Plan. They made sure everyone knows that does NOT mean they'll go for car emissions tests— the $40 inspection sticker.

Judge Danny Scheel [shale] told me very emphatically that the commissioners received a LOT of email on this. He has seen NO evidence that having pipe inspections will have any effect on air quality. Commissioner Jack Dawson says he doesn't see himself ever changing his mind about it. Commissioner Cristina Zamora believes tailpipe testing would hurt low-income people with older cars, and she's right.

Your public statements, phone calls and email to elected officials are working. Bexar and Comal counties have voted yes on a clean air plan, NO on $40 inspections. Guadalupe County has yet to vote. Wilson County voted for the plan but didn't exclude pipe tests.

City councils in Seguin, New Braunfels, San Antonio and a bunch of smaller towns, will also vote on joining the plan. Of the S.A. councilmen I have talked with so far, 4 probably won't vote for pipe tests, 2 won't say, and 4 remain to be questioned. San Antonio council members need to hear from you in the next week or so.

We do need a plan to abate air pollution. If the four-county area doesn't get together on one, the feds will move in and it won't be pretty. But it must be without the $40 emissions tests. The only purpose of those would be creating a big bureaucratic slush fund.

I'm Brad Messer with commentary at 8:15 on KTSA's Morning Edge.

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