(April 28, 2005 — Chicago, IL) The American Lung Association released its State of the Air 2005 report today.
The following statement in response to that report can be attributed to Jay Lehr, Ph.D., science director of The Heartland Institute, a 21-year-old nonprofit research organization based in Chicago:
“The American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2005 report greatly exaggerates the threat posed to public health by current levels of air pollution. It is not a reliable guide to the air pollution debate for policymakers or the general public.
“Each year the ALA tries to bamboozle reporters and the public with statistics and numbers that appear to document a major public health problem, but instead mask enormous progress in cleaning the air and safeguarding the public.
“Here, briefly, is how they do it. Assume there is a county with 500,000 people and 20 air monitoring stations. If one station anywhere in the county registers an ozone level exceeding EPA’s standards for just one day out of the year, ALA assumes all 500,000 people in the county have been exposed to health-threatening effects of excessive ozone for the entire year.
“Given that EPA’s science for setting the ozone standard was dubious in the first place, it is easy to see how ridiculous ALA’s assertions are. Air quality across the U.S. is improving dramatically and will continue to do so as new cleaner cars replace older dirtier cars, as existing regulations drive down emissions from stationery sources, and as the nation’s economy continues its transition from manufacturing to a service economy.
“Instead of handing out Cs, Ds, and Fs to the nation’s cities, ALA should be handing out As and gold stars for our environmental accomplishments.
“Sadly, the ALA is losing all credibility as a reputable scientific research group. It evidently has decided to take its place alongside the many other over-zealous environmental groups whose goal is to raise money while simultaneously scuttling capitalism. It is a sad end to a once-great organization.”
Editors and reporters: Dr. Lehr and the other experts and analysts identified below are available to comment on the report:
Dr. Jay Lehr, Science Director, The Heartland Institute, 740/368-9393, [email protected]
Mr. Joel Schwartz, Visiting Scholar, American Enterprise Institute, 916/203-6309, [email protected]
Steven F. Hayward, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute, 202/862-5882, [email protected]
Dr. Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Policy Advisor, The Heartland Institute and Professor of Economics, Sellinger School of Business and Management, Loyola College in Maryland, 410/617-2755, [email protected]
John Dale Dunn, M.D., J.D., Consultant/Mediator, Brownwood Regional Medical Center, 325/784-6697, [email protected]
The Heartland Institute is a national nonprofit organization based in Chicago. Founded in 1984, its goal is to help build social movements in support of ideas that empower people. Among other publications, Heartland publishes Environment & Climate News, a monthly newspaper addressing environment policy issues. Heartland is supported by approximately 1,500 donors and members. For more information, call Ralph Conner, Public Affairs Director, 312/377-4000, or email him at [email protected].