Protecting our air, land, and water is vital to ensuring that future generations have equal access to the great environment that we enjoy today. Thus, it is not surprising when legislators attack controversial pieces of legislation such as cap and trade; however, the Clean Air Act is a noncontroversial law that has protected millions since its initial adoption in 1963. The benefits of this vital piece of legislation are very tangible – each year thousands of deaths are prevented and thousands more are protected from health conditions like asthma as a result of air protections.
Now is not the time to weaken clean air protections, it is the time to strengthen them. Clean air protections benefit the nation’s most vulnerable, yet often voiceless communities, including children, those in poverty, and most importantly, future generations. In the past, we have been very shortsighted on many issues, including the environment. Legislators devote almost all of their time to monthly employment numbers or debt figures. Those numbers are certainly important but it seems that we have forgotten the words for ourselves and our prosperity in the Preamble to the Constitution.
Now, not tomorrow, is the time for the President and Congressional leaders to work together to put in place a longterm plan for reducing air pollution in the US. After all, does the national debt matter if, in 20 or 30 years, millions are dying because the air we breathe is filled with toxins? There is nothing more important than protecting our environment for future generations!