A-List Blog: Thanks fer nothin’, Bill | VailDaily.com

A-List Blog: Thanks fer nothin’, Bill

Alex Miller
Can't say we'll hate to see you go, Bill.

The Colorado gubernatorial field isn’t all that enticing, but won’t it be nice to see the veto-monger idealogue Bill Owens move down the road?

Once again this week, Owens showed his contempt for all the work done by the state Legislature – not to mention the will of a great many of the state’s residents – and vetoed a bill that would have given Colorado more power to control what pollutants get spewed into its air.

Bad for business, Owens said. Baloney. That’s what Detroit said back in the ’70s when they had to start putting catalytic converters on cars. Now, they trumpet the fact that today’s cars are much cleaner – even as Motor City continues to turn out gas-guzzling SUVs to an increasingly shrinking clientele. Meanwhile, high MPG Japanese cars are selling like hotcakes.

Fact is, Bill, clean air is good for all of us, and as the Bush Administration has persistently and cynically reduced the effectiveness of the Clean Air Act and made it easier for manufacturers to pollute, states like California and New York have taken it upon themselves to act in the best interest of their citizens.

It’s a sad state of affairs when the federal government abdicates such responsibilities to the states. This is one area where federalism is a good thing, since the atmosphere knows no boundaries and pollution from as far away as China can be identified in the air above California. Clearly, it’s a national problem. And clearly, the White House and Congress are not about to take it seriously. Thus does it fall to the states.

The fact is, states acting together can push past the roadblocks erected in Washington. When heavy-hitters like New York and California say enough is enough and start going it on their own, it paves the way for other forward-looking states to follow. What Bill Owens has done for Colorado has, for the most part, been anything but progressive. From vetoing a bill to make the morning-after pill available over-the-counter to this latest action, he’s shown himself to be a slave to his conservative constituency and his religious convictions.

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Bill.

Vail, Colorado

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