I am so glad I got to experience New York City before it jumped in the running gun battle for worst place in the USA.
The moralizers over at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection are on a crusade to appease the sun god by forcing restaurant owners to install special filters to dramatically reduce carbon emissions (75%) from ovens using wood or coal. The new rule would also force restaurants to hire an engineer to regularly inspect the filter.
The rule could require pizzerias with such ovens installed prior to May 2016 to buy pricey emission-control devices — with the owner of one Brooklyn joint saying he's already tossed $20,000 on an air filter system in anticipation of the new mandate.
(I gotta wonder how many of these filter systems are scrubbing carbon out of the air using electricity from coal-fired power plants down the road.)
"Oh yeah, it's a big expense!" said Paul Giannone, the owner of Paulie Gee's in Greenpoint. "It's not just the expense of having it installed, it's the maintenance. I got to pay somebody to do it, to go up there every couple of weeks and hose it down and you know do the maintenance."
We have so many regulations on business that the cost of permits, inspections, and upgrades is enough to tank them, let alone the inflated costs of goods thanks to our politicians who ran the economy into the ground.
One pizza restaurateur, who requested anonymity, told The Post that sensitive negotiations are currently taking place with DEP officials on whether to grandfather in or exempt the dozens of coal-and-wood-oven-fired pizza joints from the mandate.
He said politicians and bureaucrats should stop messing with their crust.
"This is an unfunded mandate and it's going to cost us a fortune not to mention ruining the taste of the pizza totally destroying the product," the restaurateur, who has a coal-fired oven, fumed.
It's not about the taste or the cost, good sir. It's about appeasing the weather gods.
If we don't force 100 or so historic New York pizza joints to stop using cheap fuel sources that add flavor to food, the rain, wind, and sun gods won't bless our land! Even worse, if people get ahold of that smoky goodness, they might start to rebel against the idea of eating soy and crickets in their government-assigned pods!
"All New Yorkers deserve to breathe healthy air and wood and coal-fired stoves are among the largest contributors of harmful pollutants in neighborhoods with poor air quality," [Department of Environmental Protection] spokesman Ted Timbers said in a statement Sunday. "This common-sense rule, developed with restaurant and environmental justice groups, requires a professional review of whether installing emission controls is feasible."
Anytime I see "common sense" and "justice groups" in a statement, I know it's a bunch of commie hogwash.
I'll leave you with this while I go grab a slice: