LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Air quality is important

By Mark Glover Alpine

In case nobody noticed (and I think most everybody has) our air quality in the Big Bend is going down fast. The hot air and opaque skies tell the common-sense story, but today some empirical evidence: Alpine’s low-level ozone (the stuff that produces smog) is 55, worse than Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. Midland-Odessa ranks No.5 today nationally (119) after Pahala-in-the-Lava on the Big Island, two Puerto Rico cities on the back side of a tropical depression and the perennial loser, the over-fracked Ute Reservation in Colorado. Meantime, every joint, every valve, every pipe, every flare, every tank, every truck is leaking hydro-carbons in the Permian. And the TCEQ is AWOL. Drilling permits with the TRC are up 5000 percent over the last three years while the TCEQ budget is down 35 percent – an oil man’s dream. Governor Abbott – you are failing the people!