Letter to the editor: Air-quality report misleads
April showers bring May flowers — and, apparently, misleading information from environmental groups about the historic progress the Pittsburgh region has made with respect to improving air quality while growing the economy at the same time.
The recent story “Pittsburgh region's air pollution worsening, report says” neglected to take the proper long-term view of air quality in the region — specifically, since 2001, ozone levels in the Pittsburgh have decreased by 27 percent, according to the most recent federal data. During that same time period, the region's population grew by nearly 4 percent and its GDP grew by 18 percent, while sulfur dioxide concentrations are 61 percent lower and fine particulate matter is down by more than a third. These numbers make clear that business leaders are taking great strides to improve sustainability.
Environmental advocates are pushing for restrictions on using American energy — whether that's shutting down power plants or blocking pipelines — when in fact we need all of our energy assets to further our economy and continue to improve the environment.
The writer is director of government affairs for the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry.