Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Testifying at a Public Hearing; Exhorting the Government to Adopt Tougher Public-Health Measures; Invoking the Gettysburg Address

Yesterday, I traveled to Dallas to speak at an EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) public hearing. The issue: should the federal government tighten the regulation of coal ash disposal by coal-burning power plants.

Here is my approx. 2-minute presentation. Most of the words that I emphasized (by using vocal variety, hand gestures, and other body language) are in bold. Also note my liberal use of fresh words and synonyms.

“Good Afternoon!

I am a resident of West Houston. My name is V.J. Singal, and I am testifying as a member of the general public—I should say, a member of the concerned public.

Whenever I get a chance to appear before a highly consequential government body, as yours surely is, I like to invoke a key phrase from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address—the phrase “a government for the people” which, when translated into today’s issue, would mean putting the clamps on any industrial activity that is detrimental to the public’s health, any activity that is endangering the public.

Gentlemen, you have in your possession incontrovertible evidence that coal ash is highly toxic, that it is unquestionably deleterious to the public’s health. And you have similarly irrefutable evidence that the TCEQ has been utterly lax in monitoring and implementing the Clean Air Act and other environmental regulations.

A case in point: The Fayette plant outside Austin, where coal ash has so badly contaminated the water that it has been rendered undrinkable—a perfect testimony to the TCEQ’s apathy in matters environmental.

And so, if we are to adhere to that maxim of “a government for the people,” then it is imperative, and mandatory, that the EPA, which is, after all, a protector of last resort when it comes to the environment, takes firm and speedy steps to issue new regulation—regulation that is (i) tough, (ii) unambiguous, and (iii) enforceable.

And if you do that, you will have every reason to feel truly ennobled!

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts on the subject."

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