Thursday, April 24, 2014
As someone who enjoys the outdoors and understands how much the Maine brand depends on clean and healthy air, I appreciate your Dec. 12 editorial, “Our View: LePage should sign anti-smog petition.” It seems our governor is failing to take Maine’s air quality seriously.
It’s curious that pollution that drifts into Maine from other states doesn’t seem to concern Gov. LePage, a reader says.
The administration is refusing to sign on to a multi-state anti-smog petition that asks nine coal-burning states to reduce their toxic emissions, which are by-products of generating inexpensive electricity.
Their pollution travels downwind and crosses into Northeastern states, where it causes serious health effects. People with asthma and other lung diseases are particularly susceptible.
Maine has one of the highest asthma rates in our region. According to the American Lung Association, more than 21,000 children and 127,000 adults in Maine have asthma. Allowing other states free rein to produce dangerous pollution at our expense is simply unfair.
By refusing to collaborate with our Northeastern neighbors, Maine is sending the wrong message to pollution-producing states. We cannot survive and thrive in a land where anything goes. We need to work together to find solutions that are equitable across the board.
We must continue to improve the quality of Maine’s air. Our jobs, our health and our quality of life all depend on clean and healthy air.
By taking opportunities to collaborate with regional partners to hold out-of-state polluters accountable for toxins that cross state lines, we can improve health and lower health costs. That’s good for all of us.