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Weighing Price and Pollution

May 29, 2001

Our politicians underestimate the desire of the general populace to reduce pollution ("We Aren't That Desperate," editorial, May 25). It is not simply a matter of doing the right thing for our children, elderly and future generations. The toxics in our environment are a major cause of cancer and respiratory disease, a fact well-documented but as yet not acknowledged by our government.

Rather than activate highly inefficient diesel generators (sure to put money in someone's pocket at the expense of public health), why not offer monetary incentives to consumers who agree to self-regulate their energy consumption? I have become cynical enough to assume that government will choose options that further political aims rather than demonstrate creative problem-solving and genuine concern for the constituency.

Jeanne Kuntz

Los Angeles

Reliant Energy just gave California a "Sofie's Choice": cheaper energy prices now in exchange for lung disease tomorrow (May 24). Do these energy-generating companies have a shred of dignity left? Have they no shame? My greatest wish is to bring back energy regulation and create an energy bureaucracy to protect, buffer and shield us from the oilmen in the Oval Office.

Ron Kryngel


Why is it the TV spots telling us about actions to take to conserve energy never suggest turning off the TV?

Peter R. McGowan

Long Beach

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