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Letters: Clean air law should be stricter

A smokestack at the Jeffery Energy Center coal

A smokestack at the Jeffery Energy Center coal power plant near Emmitt, Kan. Photo Credit: AP

Bob Keeler's column "Clean air won't kill jobs, but it will save people" [Opinion, Sept. 13] was a breath of fresh air to read. The Lung Association is committed to educating the public about the very real dangers of ozone pollution and the importance of adopting a tighter standard that adequately protects public health. Science clearly tells us that a stronger standard is needed, and that is why President Barack Obama's decision to again delay tightening the standard is so disappointing.

The truth about ozone is that it can burn and inflame the lungs and airways. It can worsen asthma, emphysema and bronchitis. Senior citizens, children, teens and even healthy individuals who work and exercise outdoors are at risk.

Suffolk County has the worst ozone pollution in the state, according to the Lung Association's 2011 State of the Air Report. While ozone levels have shown improvement, nearly half of all New Yorkers live in areas where air pollution endangers their lives and health. We need cleaner air now.

Delaying adoption of a more protective ozone standard as recommended by the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee was a mistake. We need Obama to embrace policies that will help New Yorkers, particularly the 2.5 million who suffer from lung disease, breathe easier.

Michael Seilback, Hauppauge

Editor's note: The writer is a vice president with the American Lung Association in New York.

I think the column missed the GOP's point. Reducing (or better yet eliminating altogether) the Environmental Protection Agency's clean air standards would actually create jobs.

See, as more people develop and succumb to respiratory diseases from polluted air, their jobs will become available, thus putting others to work. The worse the air, combined with climate change that really doesn't exist, the more people die, and thus more jobs!

And even if the jobs remained unfilled, it would increase corporate profits, leading to bigger executive bonuses -- and all that wealth will trickle down like a shower upon the lowly middle class. You just need to see the big picture!

Jeff Gullotta, Hicksville