An Arizona lawmaker plans to entertain so-called “chemtrail” conspiracy theories at a public hearing this week.
State Sen. Kelli Ward (R) told the Havasu News that she’s heard from some constituents who were concerned about contrails from airplanes having an effect on both the mercury levels in their bloodstream and on the local weather.
“I have gotten a lot of communications from people who are concerned and there has been a sense that no one has been doing anything for them to address those concerns,” she told the Havasu News. “I can’t do field tests on the water, but I can connect them to the people who do.”
Those who ascribe to the chemtrail conspiracy theory believe the wispy clouds that trail behind flying jets, which are really just frozen water vapor, are chemical agents sprayed deliberately by the government to control the weather or cause health problems in the population.
The scientific community says that’s all bunk. The communications director for Arizona’s Department of Environmental Quality, Mark Shaffer, told the Havasu News that his department regularly fields inquiries from Arizona residents concerned about chemtrails.
“Our standard response has been that there is no credible scientific evidence about chemical spraying or geoengineering,” he told the newspaper.
Ward, who gave an anti-government speech in support of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy back in April, told the Havasu News that she’s confident there are no issues with local air and water quality. But she wants the ADEQ to reassure constituents who believe that the government may be altering those resources or the weather through chemtrails.
“Every time they do chemtrailing there is some dramatic change in the weather. I noticed it this weekend and then it got very windy,” Havasu County resident Jennifer Cramer told the newspaper. “I’m not a scientist and I don’t know what’s in the (chemtrails). I think we have a right to know instead of worry about it every day.”
The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday at 5 p.m. local time at the Board of Supervisors Auditorium in Kingman, Ariz.
This post has been updated.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.