Support carbon pollution limits

To the editor,
Few things are more frightening for a parent than racing to the hospital with a child who can’t breathe. Few things are more difficult for a physician than telling a family that a loved one will not recover from an asthma attack. We work with people who know those experiences far too well and –because of those experiences – we support reducing carbon pollution.

The American Lung Association and the American Thoracic Society members and volunteers understand the impact of polluted air. We know that, as a nation, we have to do more to protect the ability of people to breathe, and that requires us to reduce carbon pollution from power plants.

It isn’t enough for physicians to educate patients about the health risks of air pollution and for parents to keep their children with asthma indoors on bad air days. We must reduce pollution before it takes a further toll on our children and families.

As a nation, we have cut air pollution by over 70 percent since 1970, but today more than 147 million Americans (nearly half of the U.S. population) still live where the air is unhealthy to breathe.  Warmer temperatures from climate change will make it even harder to reduce air pollution in many places and increase the likelihood of drought, wildfires and other threats to our health.

Fortunately, we can fight those threats.

Recently, hundreds of people attended public hearings hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Denver, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., to speak out in support of the proposed Clean Power Plan to place first-ever limits on power plant carbon pollution. They spoke up because they recognize that reducing carbon pollution benefits the health of communities across the nation. 

The EPA’s Clean Power Plan provides states with tools to reduce the carbon pollution from power plants by 30 percent, moving us forward in the fight against climate change. But the plan would do more than that. When fully implemented, the carbon reduction plan will also reduce lethal air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and mercury by 25 percent, preventing up to 6,600 premature deaths and 150,000 asthma attacks in children each year. The plan would also help prevent heart attacks, hospital admissions and missed days of work or school due to illness.

Public health experts call this prevention. For the rest of us, it’s just simple common sense. 

That is why both our organizations support efforts of the EPA to establish national limits on carbon pollution. If we, as a nation, act responsibly now to reduce carbon pollution we can simultaneously improve our air quality now and prevent many of the adverse health and environmental impacts for future generations.
–Harold P. Wimmer, president and CEO, American Lung Association, and Dr. Thomas Ferkol, president, American Thoracic Society

Tell McLachlan to pack his bags

To the Editor:
Ah yes, lawyer McLachlan, the incumbent “representative” for our House District 59. Reading letters to the editor praising McLachlan for all he’s purported to do for our district forced me to revisit the debate forums held here in Ouray County two years ago where he campaigned on supporting our Second Amendment rights. But once elected, he stated on the House floor, “No Constitutional Right, even the Second Amendment, is absolute!” He then voted for all the 2013 gun control bills that ultimately caused a recall of two state senators and an “early retirement” for another.

McLachlan escaped a similar fate by using $30,000 given to him by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to fight off a recall. McLachlan told a constituent, “No matter what we do, criminals always get guns,” but then he supported laws that restricted law-abiding Americans from owning the guns and equipment they could use to defend themselves from these criminals. During the voting on the gun control bills on the House floor, McLachlan consulted with Vice President Biden. After that phone call, McLachlan voted the way Biden directed him, ignoring both his promises and the will of the people he was supposed to represent here in the 59th District. Just who is it he represents? It doesn’t appear he represents we the people of Colorado, or our Constitution! He takes his orders from New York City and the White House.

One writer claims McLachlan, “is one of those who sees the positive government can do for …,” then he lists all of the lame talking points from the McLachlan campaign. I especially find his “standing up for women” a particularly interesting one. I wonder, could an educated wealthy lawyer truly believe a rape whistle ought to be good enough to protect women against attackers? Remember what he said, “criminals always get guns.”

Another writer claimed that McLachlan, “… sacrificed his life for ours.” Now just how did he do that and still live to fight another day? That’s an insult to all of those who actually did sacrifice their life in the line of military service to our country, and their families.

No, lawyer McLachlan must be held accountable for his duplicitous actions and deceitfulness to the voters of this district. Send him packing back to his law firm.
– Susan B. Watson, Ridgway

Morrissey most qualified for job

To the editor,
I’m writing this letter to support Allison Morrissey, candidate for La Plata County Treasurer. She has experience with strategic planning, creating operational plans for large companies. Allison is well trained in finance and auditing, and in my opinion, is highly qualified for this position.

 Having worked alongside her at a board retreat, I was impressed with her thoughtfulness and intellect. She facilitated a collaborative discussion amongst individuals with a variety of points of view. I was impressed with how well she worked with all of us to create positive change.

As the next La Plata County Treasurer, Allison is committed to working on higher returns on investments of our money and reducing costs of current inefficient systems.  Please consider learning more about Allison Morrissey and voting for her in October when you receive your mail-in ballot.
– Dr. Jesse Hutt

McLachlan respected by both sides

To the editor,
Mike McLachlan, our state representative for the 59th District, deserves to be returned to the Legislature for a second term. Mike has ably represented our district, and his votes have helped grow the state’s economy, ensured much-needed construction funding for Fort Lewis College and Western State, beefed up the ability of the state to respond to wild fires, and continued to protect the state’s natural resources.

Mike supports women’s rights, veteran’s rights, more challenging public education and better access to health care for all Coloradans. He’s a war veteran and former state solicitor general who gets things done because he’s respected by both Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature. He’s open minded and doesn’t speak with the bitterness of too many politicians today. Return McLachlan to the Legislature in November.
– Bonnie & Jeff Rozean, Durango

In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows