Readers React: Polluters’ air board coup will result in sickened Angelenos

To the editor: The March 4 coup by the South Coast Air Quality Management District board is a crime against the health of Californians. Let’s be clear about the costs associated with the district’s decision to cave to oil lobbyists and remove longtime director Barry Wallerstein. (“State Senate leader will introduce measure to counter Southern California air board’s industry-friendlier plans,” March 8)

Southern California already experiences the worst air pollution in the nation. We see the costs of pollution through staggering rates of asthma, cancer, emergency room visits and premature death. Dirty air costs Angelenos more than $22 billion annually, and low-income people of color who live closest to pollution sources bear a disproportionately heavy burden.

Don’t believe the hype. The air board’s sudden ouster of Wallerstein was not about protecting the health of our economy, much less our lungs — it was about protecting the oil industry.

L.A.'s health community understands the need to transition to an economy that pollutes less and provides clean jobs. Evidently, our air regulators do not.


Martha Argüello, Los Angeles

The writer is executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles.


To the editor: The draconian liberals on the air board devised regulations that sent businesses and jobs out of the state. Additionally, they drove up the prices of necessities like gas and other goods, increasing the cost of living for workers and retirees.

The new air board members understand their impact on business and citizens and are looking for changes. These changes may increase business competition and put people to work in good jobs. However, state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) wants to put more people on the board who will continue the draconian anti-business and anti-worker policies of the past.

If the size of the board was satisfactory up to this point, there is no reason to change it. Let’s see what happens before we condemn the board’s actions. Their decisions might be what’s best for the state.

Alan L. Strzemieczny, Riverside

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