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Out On A Limb

 That NC Senate is a tough crowd.  I tell you, tree-huggers can't go nowheres with them.  Nope, notoriously rabid environmentalists like the Department of Transportation can't get a break.  That's right, DOT.  The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, too, but they're totally suspect anyway, right?  I mean it says "environment" in the name, so you can just begin eye-rolling whenever they show up.  What is it they've come together on?  A Senate Committee today approved a measure that gives the billboard industry more rights to cut trees and shrubs away from their money-makers, despite opposition from DOT and DENR.  The Sierra Club, but, come on.

In a startling display of magnanimity, the billboard industry has agreed to pay higher annual permit fees.  Isn't that special?  I didn't know we needed industries to agree to state-levied fees, but, okay, it's nice of them,  They've agreed to pay higher fees and higher penalties in the event that trees are cut illegally.  That's apparently going to be harder to do, but they've done their darnedest in the past.  This measure follows DOT's discovery that there have been around 50 incidents of illegal tree-cutting around billboards since October.  Yep, those cost the state around $750,000 in lost greenery and are being rewarded with a free pass to hit Go and Collect $200.

At a time when land conservation is threatened by insanely rising property costs, at least one senate committee isn't even interested in protecting the trees it already has.  Why?  Your guess is as good as mine, but you might have more time to think about it.  I've got to go talk Lyndo down from my maple.  He just loves it so.

2 Comments

  1. Anglico

    June 13, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    The Senate has always been cheerleaders for White Boys for Bidness and Industry, but this year they’ve scraped the bottom of the the responsibility barrel, setting a new record for doing nothing other than pandering to the UNC system at the expense of everything else.

  2. [...] You've got to love that.  I mean, here I was, complaining about an NC Senate bill crafted with the advice of the billboard industry, while north-a-ways Democrats were working with the NRA on the first serious gun legislation in more than a decade.  Obviously I have to be in favor of the kind of info-sharing required by this bill, as indeed anyone should be, but am I wrong to wonder at the process?  Why does the NRA have a seat at this table?  Are we so far gone that we accept this news without blinking?  I know a bunch of y'all are going to get all up in my grill about how grassroots the good ol' NRA is, and blah blah blah.  Seriously, though, do they need to be IN THE ROOM when the bill is written?  Are the positions of the NRA not sufficiently known?  Who represents the non-gun-owning people in Gucci Gulch?  Because clearly our representatives need so much help crafting legislation that we can't count on them to know what we think, we need representatives for our representatives.  Or maybe what we think isn't compelling enough to help little bill become a law.  That's right, it's the inclusion of the NRA that makes this bill more likely to become a law.  The rest of us, that is the 61% of American adults who don't live in firearm-owning homes, need to get together and see if someday our opinions can mean that a bill has a better shot at becoming a law. [...]