PlanMaryland: At the Crossroads-Forum Takeaways by Richard Rothschild, Carroll County Commissioner

PlanMaryland: At the Crossroads – Forum Takeaways


Christopher Monckton – Climate Change Abatement Costs

  • Needed – proper cost/benefit analysis
  • Cost of curbing CO2 emissions in Maryland hundreds to thousands of times greater than focused adaptation. Mitigation results would be so small as to be immeasurable
  • Focused adaptation if/when necessary. Let technology and markets do their job
  • Sea level rise – Not happening. Latest data suggests 2 in./century at most
  • Worsening coastal storms – Not happening
  • Modest warming beneficial to agriculture, wildlife
  • Chinese CO2 increases more every month than if Maryland reduced emissions to zero


Wendell Cox – Economic Premises

  • Premise: Cars remove wealth from society. False. Cars allow for more flexible mobility, providing for greater economic growth and wealth creation
  • Premise: Transit is preferable to highways. False. Nearly all mobility is by highway. No metropolitan region in affluent nations has successfully shifted to transit
  • Premise: Transit is required for low income mobility. False. Only 7.9% of jobs in metro Baltimore are accessible by transit. Most people in all income groups use autos
  • Premise: Compact development assures affordable housing for all income levels. False. Compact development raises housing prices. Low income groups are disadvantaged
  • Premise: Compact development supports better health. False. Compact development increases air pollution and worsens health effects
  • Premise: Compact development reduces greenhouse gas emissions. False. Compact development ineffective. GHG can be reduced w/o lifestyle changes through technological improvements
  • Premise: Smart Growth increases tax revenues, reduces cost to government. False. Smart Growth reduces tax revenues and increases cost to government (Commissioner Rothschild)


Patrick Moffitt – Environmental Concerns and Highlands Act Impact on New Jersey

  • PlanMaryland: Risk to landowner equity not addressed
  • Agricultural issues not properly framed; erroneous data
  • Water supply and water quality issues inaccurately characterized
  • Other natural resource issues inaccurately characterized
  • Environmental risks not properly addressed or identified
  • Devil in the details – failure to ask right questions leads to incorrect premises


George Frigon – Septic vs Waste Water Treatment Plants

  • Premise: Nitrogen from septics is 10 times more than WWTP. False. Little difference between them
  • Fact: WWTPs deplete aquifers by removing groundwater and discharging it in the bay
    • Fact: Septics recharge groundwater and are therefore more sustainable
  • Fact: Septics are no more damaging to the Chesapeake Bay than WWTP
  • Fact: Septic nitrogen loading virtually identical to WWTP per household
  • Current knowledge of nitrogen processes insufficient to justify septic regulations Plan advocates


Ed Braddy – Quality of Life and Property Rights

  • PlanMaryland does not reflect popular opinion
  • Autos: Exaggerates costs/ignores benefits
  • Compact Development: Exaggerates benefits/ignores costs
  • Transit: Exaggerates benefits/ignores costs
  • Suburbs: Exaggerates costs/ignores benefits
  • Vitiates private property rights

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