Los Angeles area air regulators should be forcing polluters to cut their dangerous emissions. Instead, they want to shift the responsibility for cleaning up our air from those profiting from the pollution to those of us simply trying not to die from breathing it. Whether they get away with it will depend on a critical vote this coming week.
The greater Los Angeles region has the dirtiest air in the nation. “Every year more people will die in Southern California from air pollution-related diseases than from all traffic accidents and crime-related deaths combined,” according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, our region’s air pollution regulator.
But that same agency is falling down on the job. In July 2016, it released a deeply flawed draft of an Air Quality Management Plan, a critical document that sets out how the agency will reduce pollution to finally bring our air quality in line with federal and state standards.
The plan immediately became embroiled in controversy because of its highly unusual choice to focus on “incentives” rather than regulation to address air pollution. Instead of requiring reductions in emissions from oil refineries... Read more