As a mother, grandmother, and a registered nurse working with mothers and young children, I am saddened at the direction Scott Pruitt, the EPA administrator, and the current administration have chosen to travel.
The proposed cuts to the EPA, an agency tasked with protecting American’s right to a clean environment, are troubling, as it is the young and disadvantaged that are most at risk. When lead in drinking water shows up in Flint, Michigan and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, it is a time to redouble our efforts at fixing the problem, not a time for budgetary cuts to the EPA. Mr. Pruitt, in conjunction with corn belt Senators Fischer, Donnelly, and Grassley, are attempting to increase the amount of ethanol that can be sold in our gasoline.
Senate Bill 517 would increase ethanol from 10 percent to 15 percent in our local market. Mr. Pruitt justifies this, not by citing research; but by downgrading the air quality that is deemed acceptable. The Carlisle region suffers from poor air quality on a regular basis in the summer months. It is sad that on those poor air quality days our children, such as my grandson, participating in a youth day camp program, have to stay indoors during the very time of year that outdoor play is best. Studies indicate that ethanol increases the production of low level ozone, a primary driver of smog.
Why should the residents of south central Pennsylvania have to breathe bad air to satisfy the vested interests of the corn ethanol industry?