Do we really need clean air?

Let’s see what Republicans are up to now:

House Republicans scouring for evidence of overreaching environmental regulations are taking aim at a two-decade-old, taxpayer-funded scientific study by Harvard researchers that linked air pollution to disease and death.

Even though the landmark study has held up under intense scientific scrutiny since its publication in 1993, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology took the rare step of issuing subpoenas last month demanding access to the study’s raw data about thousands of individual subjects.

The committee also subpoenaed raw data from a 1995 study of American Cancer Society health data on 1.2 million individuals that confirmed the findings of the earlier review, that air pollution is associated with higher rates of emergency room visits for asthma and other respiratory ailments, hospitalizations, and mortality.

Both studies — peer-reviewed and published in prestigious medical journals — have long been on the target list of some in the GOP because they have been repeatedly cited by the Environmental Protection Agency when it justifies the need for new regulations on power plant emissions and other air pollutants. The agency has estimated that tighter Clean Air Act rules adopted since 1990 saved 160,000 lives in 2010 and will save 230,000 lives in 2020.

The Harvard and American Cancer Society study authors have previously permitted outside reviews by researchers who pledged to keep the personal details confidential, including an exhaustive, multiyear analysis completed in 1997 that validated the results of both studies. That 1997 review — performed by the Health Effects Institute, a nonprofit corporation jointly funded by the EPA and the automobile industry — may have settled to the satisfaction of scientists the factual questions about links between pollution and human health. But it did not put the political controversy to rest.

Well then I can see why Republicans don’t believe in the study. The automobile industry is a known leftist group that is anti-business. Now, let’s look at those studies on clean water.

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