Skip to comments.Douglas and Clinton (Senator Hillary supports test burn of tires in NY)
Posted on 04/29/2005 7:00:08 AM PDT by Libloather
Douglas and Clinton
April 29, 2005
How delighted Jason Gibbs must have been to utter the following sentence: "Governor Douglas believes we need people in the United States Senate who understand how important it is to protect and improve our environment."
Gibbs is Gov. James Douglas' principal spokesman, and he was responding to a letter from Sen. Hillary Clinton to New York environmental officials supporting a test burn of tires at the International Paper plant in Ticonderoga, N.Y.
IP wants to conduct a two-week test burn at the plant, and Clinton weighed in on the company's behalf, saying the plant was the source of hundreds of jobs.
Douglas has opposed the test burn because data suggest pollution from burning tires would contain harmful levels of zinc and mercury, which would waft on westerly breezes across Lake Champlain to Addison County and beyond.
Now Clinton has given Douglas the perfect opportunity to establish his bona fides as an environmentalist. And just so it is not lost on anyone, Gibbs' statement stated plainly Douglas' thoughts about the U.S. Senate.
The question of the moment in Vermont political circles is whether Douglas intends to run for the U.S. Senate seat that Sen. James Jeffords will vacate next year. If he means to do so, he will have to persuade Vermonters that he shares their environmental values. For Vermont politicians, taking a swipe at IP is a time-honored way of doing so. Taking a swipe at Hillary Clinton is a bonus for Douglas.
It is a worrying sign that Clinton has taken the side of IP in the dispute over tire burning. In the wake of the 2004 election, she has sought to carve out a moderate role for herself, positioning herself for a presidential run in 2008. If she believes moderation in politics means siding with polluting industries, then that is a dangerous portent for where centrist Democrats might be headed. President Bush's coziness with industrial polluters is one of his serious errors and an important vulnerability for Republicans.
Enter Jim Douglas. He can do what Jeffords did so well all those years, defending the purity of Vermont skies by beating up on a New York company. Douglas has also parted ways with the Bush administration over its efforts to gut the Clean Air Act in order to allow increased pollution by Midwestern companies.
IP's plans have given Douglas an opportunity to present himself as Mr. Clean Air because the company insists on proceeding with its test burn without installing the kind of technology that has made burning tires acceptable at other sites. It is arguable that the residents of Shoreham won't be seriously injured by two weeks of zinc from the plant. But why not demand adequate technology before giving IP the idea that burning tires might be OK?
Clinton may be trying to portray herself as beyond the control of environmental interests. It's a silly ploy, but it is one Douglas is happy to exploit. Of course, Douglas' likely opponent, should he run for the Senate, would be Rep. Bernard Sanders, and Sanders is no friend of IP.
But for the moment, Hillary Clinton has allowed Douglas to deliver Vermonters a message: The Senate needs more environmentalists.
Sen. Hillary Clinton to New York environmental officials supporting a test burn of tires at the International Paper plant in Ticonderoga, N.Y.
do 'ya think she would be so quick to support a test fire, if they lit the bonfire in Chappaqua??
What fuel does the Ticonderoga plant presently use ? Coal, N6 oil, ?
Whatever they are burning, unless it is municipal garbage, it will burn a heck of a lot cleaner than tires. Any fuel used in industrial production is, mostly, fuel. Tires are mostly (...I don't want to get all technical here...) tire. It has steel and nylon and all sorts of different rubbers and synthetics that all have to do with getting vehicles down the road, but are not designed to burn. Furthermore, one tire is going to be different from another, so it is not even a standardized product.
Now, with a whole lot of effort, you can get these things to burn more cleanly than the Springfield Tire Fire (Since 1978!). But it will always primarily be about waste disposal, not about fuel.
Tires do contain styrene and some other nasties but are primarily made of aromatic residual oil (carbon black) and the resid from lube manufacturing (the process oil). I would think that, once the wires were removed and the tires chopped up, they would burn as well as coal in a utility boiler...