I was disappointed by the pessimism expressed in the opinion article titled “Reducing ozone could kill jobs” that appeared Wednesday in The Washington Times.
The article’s author, C. Boyden Gray, opines that we have done enough to clean up air pollution. We certainly have not done enough to protect America’s beloved national parks from air pollution. Most notable is Yosemite National Park, which ranks among the worst in the country for parks with ozone-related air pollution and where children routinely suffer asthma attacks while visiting.
Today we have the ability to solve complex problems and achieve great things, including putting Americans back to work and making our national parks and the air our children and grandchildren breathe cleaner and healthier. That includes reducing ozone levels that can cause respiratory problems and reduce the body’s resistance to infection.
Many of the renovations and retrofits noted in the piece are job creators themselves and are supported by those workers who would be more than happy to make power plants cleaner. Clean, clear air in places like Yosemite supported more than 6,000 local jobs and contributed more than $300 million to the American economy in 2008. Until all 365 days a year are safe for even the least healthy hikers on the trails of Yosemite - and right now they aren’t - we can and should do more.
Vice President, Clean Air and Climate
National Parks Conservation Association