Columnist Lois Henry discusses report on Bakersfield air quality

Columnist Lois Henry discusses report on Bakersfield air quality

When The Guardian newspaper, a British-based newspaper, stopped by Bakersfield to write about the region’s air quality that drew the interest of The Bakersfield Californian columnist Lois Henry.

The article cited a 2016 study by the American Lung Association that found Bakersfield’s air quality to to be the worst in the country. The article cited various statistics about the overall health of Kern County residents and also connected the region’s air quality woes with the how President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency may play a role in rolling back air quality standards.

Now the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, and his appointment of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head in Scott Pruitt who is actively opposed air quality regulations, has many worried that the small but steady improvements to the area’s air quality may all be undone.

Henry took exception to the region’s distinction and the American Lung Association report, and explained her issues on the Feb. 21 episode of “The Richard Beene Show.”

“When you then apply to that the actual facts of how our air has been improving nationwide and here,” Henry said. “We have 80 percent less emissions than we did, say 20 years ago and that’s because of all of the stuff we’ve been put through.

“Then if you say we’re the worst pollution in the United States, what does that really mean? It means nothing. It means that is a mantra that the American Lung Association and various other clean-air advocacy groups use to try and scare money out of people’s wallets.”

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