Oliver L. Baines III, Buddy Mendes and J. Steven Worthley should immediately resign their positions on the board of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. They openly admit in their op-ed that they can’t do the job and are seeking instead to move the goal posts using a political fix that doesn’t have a chance of surviving congressional gridlock.
Air pollution in the Valley may have been reduced by 80 percent as they claim, but Valley cities still top the ranks of most polluted cities in America, according to the American Lung Association State of the Air 2015 report. Fresno-Madera tops the list for short term and year round particle pollution and comes in fourth for ozone. Other Valley cities round out the top five. In real terms, this means thousands of premature deaths of infants and older adults and increased hospitalizations and emergency room visits for people of all ages.
Moving the goal posts might be good business for polluters and the defeatist politicians who enable them, but it can’t be good for the people in our Valley suffering from bad air. If the air board can’t do its job, it should resign so that others can step up to get the job done.
Mike Caetano, Fresno