MAGA Lawmaker Proposes Legislation on Debunked Chemtrails Conspiracy

A far-right state senator in Pennsylvania is going to war against long-lingering condensation trails left in the sky by aircraft, proposing legislation that leans into a conspiracy theory that they contain harmful chemicals.The so-called “chemtrails” theory posits that planes are secreting toxic chemicals into the air for nefarious but vague purposes, running the gamut from

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A far-right state senator in Pennsylvania is going to war against long-lingering condensation trails left in the sky by aircraft, proposing legislation that leans into a conspiracy theory that they contain harmful chemicals.

The so-called “chemtrails” theory posits that planes are secreting toxic chemicals into the air for nefarious but vague purposes, running the gamut from weather control to forced sterilization to mind control. Contrails, the theory goes, are not benign vapor streams, but rather proof of the secret programs at work.

Scientists, including researchers at Harvard, have said there is no evidence for the existence of chemtrails.

The bill proposed by Sen. Doug Mastriano would ban the release of substances affecting the state’s temperature, weather, or sunlight into the atmosphere over Pennsylvania by updating a state law passed in 1967 to regulate amateur efforts to tinker with weather modification.

The law was first inspired by “unauthorized attempts to suppress hail in central Pennsylvania,” requiring anyone who wanted to try cloud seeding to obtain a license first, according to the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, which first reported Mastriano’s memo on Friday.

A spokesperson at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture told the newspaper that it had never received a license application and had never investigated unauthorized cloud seeding.

Nevertheless, as Mastriano insisted in a memo to his colleagues this week, “Recent developments and new technology have brought forward the need to modernize the 1967 law.”

Arguing that the federal government has stepped up its weather regulation experiments, he claimed that silver iodide, an agent commonly used in cloud seeding, is “known to be toxic.” (Silver iodide is a naturally occurring compound and is “not known to be harmful to humans or wildlife,” according to the Desert Research Institute.)

Mastriano also said that the government “has ramped up efforts to fund and research ‘solar geoengineering,’” an as-yet hypothetical method to cool the planet down by reflecting the sun’s rays back into space using aerosols. With its efficacy and risks still under fierce debate, only a “handful of small-scale projects” are currently in operation, according to Reuters.

In waxing hysteric about these experiments being conducted outdoors, Mastriano’s memo cited a Wall Street Journal article from last month. The story centers around three geoengineering field experiments in Massachusetts, Australia, and Israel, with the Journal reporting that the experiments are currently closer to simulations, with white smoke and sea salt being the substances sprayed into the air.

“Spraying unknown, experimental, and potentially dangerous chemicals into the atmosphere without the consent of the people of Pennsylvania is a clear violation of Article 1, Section 27 of the PA Constitution,” Mastriano wrote.

The memo did not explicitly mention chemtrails, but the state senator noted that his bill “will mirror” a measure passed in the Tennessee Senate this week that claims there is “documented” evidence that the federal government is conducting “geoengineering experiments by intentionally dispersing chemicals into the atmosphere.”

Mastriano also has a long history of yelling about clouds. After losing badly to his Democratic rival in the 2src22 gubernatorial race, Mastriano tweeted four photos of contrails, captioning it ominously, “Over Franklin County today.” The photos, as well as a followup link he posted to an article about solar geoengineering, were widely viewed as a nod to the chemtrail theory.

Last November, he took to Facebook to post yet another contrail photo. “I have legislation to stop this,” he said. “I took this at 4:15pm Monday in Chambersburg. Normal contrails dissolve / evaporate within 3src-9src seconds.”

A common refrain amongst chemtrail truthers, the notion that “normal contrails” are quick to dissipate, has been disputed by experts. NASA has said that most contrails remain visible for four to six hours, with the National Weather Service explaining that their longevity is proportional to atmospheric humidity.

David Keith, a professor of applied physics at Harvard, wrote in a response to the “many emails and letters” worrying about chemtrails his research group has received that all the evidence they’ve seen has been “very weak.”

“The most common claim is simply that aircraft contrails look ‘different,’ without any comparative analysis. This as convincing as saying that alien beings walk among in disguise as people because some people act very strangely,” he pointed out.

If there were any concerted efforts by the government or some shadowy conglomerate of the rich and powerful to dispense chemtrails over the country, it would also be all but impossible to keep it under wraps, according to Keith.

Mastriano did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

An Army veteran and election denier, the 6src-year-old has served in the state Senate since 2src19. Late last year, The Daily Beast reported that he was among more than a dozen state lawmakers identified by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee as having ties to the Jan. 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol.

After Trump’s election loss, Mastriano was among those calling on Mike Pence to delay certifying the result, and sponsored a resolution that would have allowed the designation of “alternate electors.” He helped organize busloads of pro-Trump supporters to attend the rallies in Washington, D.C., and himself was in the city on the day of the riots.

“When it was apparent that this was no longer a peaceful protest, my wife and I left the area and made our way out of the area,” Mastriano said in a statement shortly after the insurrection. “At no point did we enter the Capitol building, walk on the Capitol steps or go beyond police lines.”

Online sleuths soon figured out that that wasn’t quite the case, with video showing him walking through police lines and near the Capitol steps well after the demonstration turned violent.

Mastriano resisted the fresh allegations, calling them “the desperate claims of anonymous keyboard warriors.” He said he had “followed the directions of the Capitol Police and respected all police lines as I came upon them,” but that it was common knowledge those lines shifted over the course of the day.

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