MCEA Staff blog regularly about current environmental issues and how they relate to MCEA's work.
The American Lung Association has its annual "State of the Air" report out. It shows progress on clean air during the 2012-2014 period studies, but still much farther to go to meet air quality standards. Minneapolis-St. Paul gets a "D" for ground-level ozone and a "B" for fine particulates. If we can get those numbers down--clean up smog in the summer, and soot in the winter--we can make enormous public health strides. That means continuing to close coal-fired power plants, retiring or retrofitting old diesel engines, reducing residential wood smoke, improving practices in typically smaller businesses where volatile organic compounds get released, and reducing overall miles traveled in vehicles running on fossil fuels. It's hard to know how a city like Bakersfield can get out of its air pollution mess, but we can certainly do much better here.