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Clean Air: Power Plants' Rules and 9/11's Risks

September 02, 2003

Once again, The Times and environmental groups just don't get it ("Trust Left in the Dust," editorial, Aug. 28). Everyone is screaming for more and cheaper power, but for heaven's sake, don't do anything to increase the capacity unless very costly pollution-control devices are installed first. As long as power-producing plants are able to keep pollution at the current levels, why force them to install these costly devices at the same time they upgrade their capacity?

Environmentalists think they can have their cake and eat it too, and they never stop to consider that any business, whether it be a power plant or a manufacturing plant, is in business to make money. It would seem that in today's power-starved climate we would want plants to improve their capacity rather than continue to operate with old, inefficient equipment because improvements would necessitate the costly pollution-control upgrades. Where's the common sense in all this?

Jackie Warner

Orange

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The Times joined various Democrats in Congress and other liberal media in demanding to know why the Bush administration didn't hurry to tell New Yorkers that the terrorist toppling of the World Trade Center buildings in the midst of Lower Manhattan on 9/11 temporarily made the air they breathe less healthy than usual.

Could it be because any administration would be loath to induce mass panic in the immediate aftermath of the most traumatic event on American soil since Pearl Harbor? Could it be because responsible leadership did not want to cause additional deaths of innocent people in frenzied stampedes out of New York? Or could it be that no practical means for relocating several million people and housing and feeding them indefinitely existed then or now?

Darren McKinney

Washington

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The Bush administration's ongoing march to destroy environmental protections to satisfy industry at the expense of the public health proves this to be the most anti-American (anti-average American citizen) administration this country has ever had. President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and their ilk know right from wrong. The problem is that they just don't care. So although Bush will retire to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, he'll have done his duty in remaking the nation's air into the image of Houston's, which surpassed L.A. in one recent year as having the dirtiest air in the country.

Mike Laskavy

Oak Park

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