Rep. Jimmy Dixon criticizes DEQ for problems he helped create

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Slash their staff, and then blame them for getting behind:

From the get-go, the committee meeting felt contentious and at times, contradictory. Rep. Jimmy Dixon, a Republican from Duplin County, declared there would be no discussion of the Department of Environmental Quality’s financial straits, noting that “the media and other people for political purposes have made funding part of this issue.”

But there’s no getting around the expense and future financial commitment that would be required to monitor and fix the state’s surface water and drinking water pollutions. The budget cuts inflicted upon DEQ are now legendary, although Dixon seemed unfazed by that fact. “There is a 41 percent backlog in permit reviews,” Dixon said, addressing Assistant DEQ Secretary Sheila Holman. “Does the department have an ongoing internal efficiency analysis?” Dixon: “I’m a farmer and know efficiencies.”

Uh, no. If you were that damn efficient, you wouldn't need Federal farm subsidies and fat checks from Big Ag lobbyists and lawyers. I get so tired of these Republicans dodging the questions about their de-funding of DENR/DEQ. If you want a lot of the dirty details, you'll find them in this (massive pdf) Legislative efficiency report from 2014, which explores in-depth many of the lost positions. But it's depressing as hell, so you may want to skip it.

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