City Council Blows Smoke

City Council Blows Smoke

Pittsburgh City Council is considering introducing another bill designed to handcuff developers who receive City subsidies. While the latter certainly gets no sympathy from us, this measure will only serve to drive up the cost of developments and thus the amount of the corresponding taxpayer provided subsidy.

The legislation, sponsored by four members of Council, would mandate that all contractors in City-subsidized projects use "air-friendly" vehicles and reduce water runoff through the use of green measures such as garden roofs and rain gardens. Air-friendly vehicles would be those using low-sulfur diesel and have filters installed to catch air particulates. All of this increases the cost of developments which will either prevent the development from taking place or increase the cost to taxpayers who underwrite such ventures.

One councilman claims that this measure is critical in advancing Pittsburgh’s economy. According to the Councilman companies are balking at moving to the City because of bad water and air quality. Surely it has nothing to do with the burdensome taxes and regulations that are routinely imposed on companies—a fact which is lost on these Council members.

If anything, Pittsburgh’s water and air quality has been rapidly improving as evidenced by the national fishing tournaments being staged on our rivers. The one air quality report that places the region in a negative light has been factually disputed by not only the Allegheny Institute, but by the County’s health department and also by the liberal leaning editorial board at one local paper.

Sadly, something that does need cleaning up is the thinking process of City Council. When will they get serious about reducing taxes and lowering spending, thus truly making Pittsburgh more attractive to businesses and actually advancing the City’s economy.