Remember those smoggy 60s? We do, don’t repeal clear air provisions

on Aug8

Re: “State limited in its fight to save anti-smog rules,” Aug. 3

To the editor: Sixty-five years ago, when I was with the then-County of Los Angeles Air Pollution Controls District, air pollution in parts of Los Angeles County was so bad that if one of us went to speak about what was called “smog” to a service club in Pasadena, we were ordered to go in pairs so that the speaker would not be beaten up. (Re: “State limited in its fight to save anti-smog rules,” Aug. 3)

Efforts by the APCD to clean the air were not easy. Industrial firms and their associations fought strongly against costly controls. But the will of the people for cleaner air prevailed, and every source of pollution was controlled to a great extent.

Now, the Republican Congress and President Trump — bowing to industrial firms and their associations — want to curb efforts to control current and future air pollution. Does Southern California want to go back to the dark ages 65 years ago in which we found ourselves choking and coughing while our eyes burned? I don’t think so. But we have to let the Republican Congress know how we feel.

Martin A. Brower, Corona del Mar

To the editor: Mitch McConnell and Republicans could not create death panels by killing the ACA healthcare act, but these “Dr. Deaths” are not stopping.

They now want Americans to suffer and die slower deaths, by killing air pollution laws.

Remember that getting rid of the EPA was one of Donald Trump’s promises.

Roger Newell, San Diego

To the editor: It’s understandable that there is push-back to rules and regulations, and California must get on board with efforts to reduce the burdens they cause. We have gone beyond the point of diminishing returns with the number and complexity of regulations.

However, the importance of clean air, and the need to reduce the worst effects of climate change, require a solution.

Fortunately, I think the source of most of our problems is easy to identify: the extraction, refinement and burning of fossil fuel. Stop them, and most air pollution goes away, while also heading off a major cause of climate change.

We need a serious plan to put a price on carbon. We can do this without more rules and regulations with a carbon dividend program. Such proposals send the money collected to boost the economy with “dividends” sent to taxpayers, or with tax cuts. Let market forces find the best replacements for dirty fossil fuels.

E. J. Parker, Long Beach

To the editor: I grew up in Los Angeles in the 1950s and 60s. Our play as children was interrupted by a breathing deficit and pain in the lungs and throat. Our eyes hurt. We could not see across town, and the Hollywood sign and the ocean were visible only a few days a year. This was due to smog.

The anti-regulation crowd has created the “straw man” that control of pollution is a bureaucratic nuisance of no value. To the contrary, Southern California would be unlivable if we had not made the effort to control air pollution.

The Republican proposal to strip California of the power to control sources of smog is an existential threat to the health and economic development of California, particularly, Southern California.

Trump’s allies would gladly destroy our way of life. We must resist. This is a moment of reckoning for Southern California.

Jonathan Greenspan, Westlake Village

To the editor: So Republicans are willing to put business interests ahead of a healthy populace. What else is new? Is there no end to their greed and shortsighted thinking?

Will we all be wearing gas masks in California just to keep from dying? What about those who can’t afford to buy gas masks?

Oh, I forgot. We don’t care about them. Our health insurance certainly won’t pay for gas masks. That is, if we still have health insurance.

Diana Wolff, Rancho Palos Verdes

To the editor: While I sympathize with areas like the Central Valley for being averse to Clean Air Act regulations over which they have no control, they are often the ones who will benefit the most — health-wise — from cleaner air standards.

I applaud the progress California has made in switching to renewable energy and electric vehicles and deplore any actions that would halt our progress. Until we no longer need fossil fuels, however, a program that needs congressional consideration and support is a carbon fee and dividend plan.

Linda Rose, Carpinteria

To the editor: I grew up in L.A. before emission controls. I remember the experience of choking after swimming or other vigorous activities.

In my mid-30s, I learned how particulate matter in smog had damaged my upper respiratory system to the point where I was suffering chronic bronchitis and pneumonia.

I’m sure glad to hear how Congress wants to weaken these regulations. I wouldn’t want to deprive my children of the same kinds of experience I had growing up.

Bill Robertson, Santa Barbara

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