Bill Wattenburg’s Open Line to the West-Coast

Saturday, August 31, 1996

Bill reports that one of the new CFC-free refrigerant (R-134a) are toxic, and produce an acid that is just as dangerous as acid rain, at a concentration in the water and air that experts previously said wouldn’t occur until 2010. This is documented in the July 4 issue of NATURE.

Spare the Air Day

Bill interviewed Mr. Dick Fitzmorris, an employee of Pacific Bell, and a representative to the Bay Area Clean Air Partnership, which is designed to help promote the Spare the Air days that are being designated for the San Francisco Bay Area on days where we exceed federal pollution guidelines.

He mentioned a Web page that is used to help coordinate notification of workers who can telecommute on these days. It’s called Telecommute to Help Spare the Air and this site is run by SmartValley.

Dolphin Death Bill

That’s not the official title, but it comes close enough. It is a bill that repeals requirements that tuna imported into the U.S. be caught in a manner that ensures minimal dolphin deaths. Not only does it allow import of tuna from Central and South American tuna harvests (which are not bound by the tuna harvesting rules that we live by), but it mandates that such tuna be labeled as “dolphin safe”, despite the fact that it may have been caught with techniques that kill large numbers of dolphins.

Don’t believe Bill? Here are the bill references, so you can see the truth, and just how your representatives voted.

US House of Representatives (where the bill was passed on 07-31-96, and been forwarded to the Senate, on a vote of : 316 - 108):

U.S. Senate:

One of the reasons Bill cares so much about this is because he narrated a special broadcast by Westinghouse broadcasting, in 1975 called “The Last Days of The Dolphin”, documenting the killing of 500,000 dolphins annually. The following business day congress outlawed the tuna fishing practices shown in the broadcast.

Oh, and just in case you read the words in these bills and the words spoken on the floor of the House and Senate, and think that the goal is to protect the dolphins, take a look at the one substantial amendment that was offered (and killed):

                   HOUSE AMENDMENTS

  Studds           07-31-96               HA 1371       (A001  - Failed)
                   An amendment to specify that tuna sold commercially in
                   the U.S may only be labled as being caught using a
                   “dolphin-safe” process if no dolphins are killed,
                   chased, harassed, injured, or encircled with nets in the
                   process of catching tuna.

This is disgusting.

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