Environment, Exclusives, Gold Dome, Governor Polis, Uncategorized

Larison: Denver Post helps Polis overplay Front Range ozone

Colorado’s Front Range did not face “record levels of ozone pollution” this summer as indicated in a recent Denver Post story about massive clean air spending initiatives by Governor Polis.

In reality, Denver’s poor air quality this past warm season was overwhelmingly due to forest fire smoke originating from California.

And what about the magnificent fall that local residents experienced this year with clear air and great visibility?  Did all the polluting vehicle traffic and industry suddenly disappear?

Granted, it was not peak ozone season, but it demonstrated how natural variability drives weather and climate, not man-made pollutants.

It should also be noted that Denver had far worse air pollution in the brown cloud era of 50 years ago when max 8-hour ozone concentrations topped 300 parts per billion.

Today, air quality officials bombard the public with alerts when 8-hour ozone readings exceed a mere 70 ppb.  These levels only affect a very small sensitive portion of the general population and certainly do not warrant the restricting of public driving habits.

The best policy moving forward is not an overreach in green spending of nearly a half billion dollars by the state of Colorado.  The target shouldn’t totally eliminate gas-powered vehicles, but continue effective emissions testing and make use of pollution reducing production technology.

Electric vehicles can be gradually introduced as long as they are practical to the overall energy equation and are economically viable in the marketplace.

Dave Larison is a retired meteorologist who first worked for the National Weather Service in Denver in 1970.

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