To The Editor:

It is upsetting that people, including some of our “leaders” in Congress, are fighting attempts to update the Clean Air Act. But it’s not surprising. Every time Congress tried to pass laws to make our air and water safer for us to breathe and drink, there’s been an uproar from vested interests. The EPA is following a court order to issue new guidelines, and here we go again.

The fossil fuel industry, especially coal companies, will fight tooth and nail to keep us from protecting ourselves, our families and, especially, our children.

I have a friend who works at an elementary school. She said that whenever the PE teacher wants students to run hard during class, she posts a note on the gym door telling them to go use their inhalers before class. Is that crazy or what? We are getting accustomed to high rates of asthma in children when we should be alarmed instead.

Television meteorologists warn us about poor air quality, and MoDOT puts signs on highways telling us to carpool on yellow or orange air quality days. Even when the sky is blue and it looks like a lovely day, we are breathing tiny particles that get deep down into our lungs. Franklin County has one of the dirtiest coal-fired power plants in the country, and we have to fight for four years to keep toxic coal ash out of the floodplain.

Fifty or 100 years from now people will look back and wonder what in the world we were thinking.