We can't afford dirty air

08/24/2014 5:08 PM

08/21/2014 9:32 AM

Re "Gas prices are sure to rise; Senate ought to hear by how much" (Editorial, Aug. 17): Most Californians live in areas with unhealthy air quality, and dirty fossil fuels contribute to billions in annual health and economic costs resulting from pollution-related asthma attacks, heart attacks, emergency room visits and even death. The oil industry has failed to do its part to clean up air pollution, which hits our most vulnerable populations the hardest: children, the elderly, low-income communities and communities of color. According to the American Lung Association in California, when fully implemented, the transition to cleaner fuels as a result of California's landmark policies will save lives and billions in costs, including $23 billion in avoided health and other societal impacts by 2025. Medical and health organizations throughout California support California's clean energy law, AB 32, and the clean fuel policies that are reducing emissions because of lives saved from avoided deaths and illnesses linked to breathing harmful air pollution.

-- Stephen Maxwell, MD, Roseville

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