Letter to the Editor: Pollution and our environment

To the Editor:

The current administration has reversed, or is reversing, nearly 100 environmental rules. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was begun by executive order of President Nixon. Many of us remember the smog of Los Angeles, polluted Lake Erie, and the burning Cuyahoga River. These were examples of our dirty environment that have largely disappeared due to EPA regulations, with sincere thanks to that administration.

Now, however, we have more subtle effects of environmental degradation. Iowa’s waterways are polluted. Impaired waters abound, including the Upper Iowa and Turkey Rivers. Our air quality is threatened by relaxing regulations on carbon emissions. Transportation has been America’s number-one source of air pollution, with greenhouse emissions from cars, trucks, buses and other vehicles surpassing every other source.

Many now feel that too much regulation by the EPA drives up costs and damages the economy. However, the economy is now affected by climate change across sectors; rising health care costs, decreased work productivity, damage to property and infrastructure, agriculture, fisheries, and tourism are among the victims. We cannot afford not to address climate change. Call our legislators to let them know you are concerned. Vote for candidates who will act. Get involved with Citizens Climate Lobby, citizensclimatelobby.org or neiaclimate@gmail.com.

Leslie Sand

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