Clean Air Worldwide sign now

SIR:

We need a President who will reinvigorate the Clean Air Act and work to eliminate the pollutants in the air we breathe. We need a President who will join world efforts to curb global warming; who will ratify the Kyoto Protocol, spur research and development into clean-burning, renewable fuels, and move the United States to 20\% renewable energy use by 2010.

The Clean Air Act has steadily improved our air quality since 1970, but was substantially weakened by special interests acting through your administration. While a few big businesses reap excessive profits, average citizens face increased health problems and additional expenses for health care that most can ill afford. Nearly half of all Americans are forced to breathe unhealthy air. This should not be tolerated under any administration.

The human cost of air pollutants is estimated at as many as 100,000 premature deaths and about $50 billion annually in the United States. Because we breathe in 3,400 gallons of air every day, chemicals we cannot see, smell, or taste can do irreparable harm over long periods. We should not be forced to endure the dumping of chemicals and other pollutants into the air that we must breathe, nor should we be forced to pay more in medical costs to treat the problems of breathing polluted air. We certainly should not be forced to accept an early death so that pollutants can thrive in our air.
The personal cost of air pollution, estimated to average around $200 every year, applies to everyone, everywhere, but is even higher for some regions. For example, a 22-square-mile area north of Fort Wayne has been identified as the most mercury-contaminated spot in the country. In addition, some racial groups are hit harder than others. For instance, 71\% of African Americans lived in counties that violated federal air pollution standards in 2002, compared to 58\% of the white population.

It is now crucial that the lethal impacts of air pollution be realized and acted upon. Soot from the oldest and dirtiest power plants kills 30,100 Americans each year; comparatively, drunk driving kills 16,935 and homicides kill 17,893. These same power plants emit pollution that triggers 603,000 asthma attacks annually, most of which occur in children. The technology to clean up these plants has literally existed for decades. If these old power plants were made to be as clean as newer power plants, we'd save three times as many lives as are saved by seatbelts.

Your Clear Skies Initiative is a clear step backwards for the quality of the environment and for every American. Even the EPA has admitted that the Clear Skies Initiative will create more pollution from the electric power industry than if the EPA had enforced existing programs. As written, the Clear Skies Initiative will allow 36\% more nitrogen oxides, 50\% more sulfur dioxide, and as much as 500\% more mercury to be released into our air. This will mean millions more asthma attacks, heavier acid rainfalls, and more toxic bodies of water where the fish cannot be eaten.

This implementation of big industry wishes has derailed the Clean Air Act and undermined the health of this nation.

We need an administration that will act on the fact that the air we breathe is essential to life. Even unseen pollution harms all our lives and destroys some of our lives. All of us pay for the pollution of others. Pollution is not necessary and the price of pollution is not something we need to pay to maintain our lifestyles. In many cases, the cost of cleaning up the pollution is less than the medical costs of treating the effects of pollution. We all must continue to cleanse the air and drive down the cost that everyone pays for a dirty atmosphere.

Your administration has seriously weakened the Clean Air Act, raising the health costs of everyone; it is time to restore it. As a nation, we must take the following steps:
1. Reinvigorate the Clean Air Act and reverse the actions of your administration to impede it.
2. Offer incentives for wind, solar, and other non-polluting forms of energy. This will help clean our air and reduce our dependence on polluting forms of energy and on foreign oil and gas.
3. Offer incentives for more efficient devices and systems that use or generate power. Automobiles can be more efficient and safer without being less comfortable. Many of our power plants can be more efficient and produce fewer pollutants. Mega-farms can produce much less toxic gas.
4. Support the Kyoto Treaty to join international efforts to decrease our emissions of greenhouse gases and thus curb global warming.
5. Work cooperatively with other nations. Air is a universal resource; our efforts to improve air quality mustn't end at the U.S. borders.

The life of the planet hinges on clean air, and some of us have more power than others.

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    OMG thankyou. but i dont however, understand why you had to add the racial part into this...EVERYONE is ruining the earth... Address, Zip Code 92407
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    I have been taught since young that the US is the one of the greatest nations of the world and I truly wish the US could lead the world by example. If you could bring democracy and peace to many countries, why not clean air for the environment? Address, Z
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Cecelia StephensonBy:
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Petition target:
The President of the United States

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