We must work together to fight climate crisis

Addressing the COVID-19 crisis is priority No. 1 right now as we work to protect the health and well-being of family, friends and communities.

When considering the resiliency needed to fight the virus, we are compelled to face the reality that many of our communities in Pennsylvania are inordinately impacted by air pollution that exacerbates heart and lung ailments.

This is critical for our community as large swaths of western Pennsylvania again received a failing grade for air quality in the American Lung Association’s just-released 2020 State of the Air.

With air pollution traveling as the wind blows, no one is immune.

These statistics are not surprising when you consider Pennsylvania is the third-largest greenhouse gas emitting state in the nation and that emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from oil and gas operations in the commonwealth, are estimated to be five times higher than what is reported to the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The effect of these emissions and their co-pollutants, which lead to ozone smog and degraded air quality, is well documented. By accelerating the climate crisis, unchecked methane emissions also lead to warmer temperatures that will make today’s ozone problem even worse.

For more information on the threats from methane, go to the Health First PA website. Rules to cut air and methane pollution are being advanced by the Wolf administration and supported by a majority of Pennsyl­vanians.

This work should continue to protect the health and safety of our citizens.

Individuals can participate in the process from their homes by reaching out to elected officials and offering strong support for these protective measures.

Patricia Carnell



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