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   EDITORIAL: "All I need is the air that I breathe and to love you..."


“All I need is the air that I breathe and to love you...”

THIS POPULAR SONG by The Hollies reminds us of how little we really need to be happy. Unfortunately, the air that we breathe isn’t such a simple thing these days. It’s even more endangered than First Love.

Middle Atlantic and New England states suffer from poor air quality due in part to winds bringing air pollution to us from industrial plants in the Midwest—especially from antiquated fossil fuel plants, which are among the worst pollution offenders. This problem was supposed to be getting fixed. The New Source Review section of the Clean Air Act, passed by Congress in 1970, requires that these plants add modern air pollution controls if and when they are modified. But these plants don’t want to spend the “extra” money—they’ve found it cheaper to cross politicians’ hands with silver.

Now the Bush administration has directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow these filth-spewing plants to escape the provision.

This atrocity has not gone unnoticed. Maryland, along with eight other states, is filing a federal lawsuit against the EPA, charging the agency with exceeding its authority and violating the intent of Congress.

Kudos to our Attorney General for being vigilant. We hope this effort will force the Bush administration to pull back from its environmental reckless endangerment. Unfortunately, something as seemingly simple as the air that we breathe cannot be taken for granted.

Today, it’s the air that we breathe that’s falling prey to special interests. Tomorrow, it will be our drinking water, which is already at risk in many parts of this country. Regardless of political persuasion, we’d all better join together to protect these essentials of life. We might not be able to do much about controlling love, but we absolutely must work to maintain and improve the quality of the basics of human survival.

Copyright © 2003 The Baltimore Chronicle and The Sentinel. All rights reserved. We invite your comments, criticisms and suggestions.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on December 4, 2002.
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