As a member of the American Lung Association in Maine’s Leadership Board, I applaud the Sun Journal for the March 28 editorial, “Senators must vote for clean air for Maine People.”

I am as frustrated as you are that you had to write the editorial at all. Congress needs to stop playing politics with our children’s health just to benefit a few out-of-state polluters.

Sen. James Inhofe has proposed to indefinitely delay standards designed to reduce the mercury, arsenic, lead and other airborne toxins that are generated by oil and coal-fired power plants to the south and west of Maine.

That dangerous pollution is linked to a host of health effects, including cancer, learning disabilities, and reproductive problems. So while the source states get cheap power, here in Maine we pay the price with poor health and higher health costs for families and businesses — an unfair outcome by any measure.

Senators from the Midwest who receive campaign contributions from polluters are not looking out for the health of those in Maine. As you pointed out, that is not their job. But it is the job of Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, and it is time for them to say where they stand.

The vote on Inhofe’s resolution will happen in the next few weeks. Sens. Snowe and Collins should not only oppose this threat to our health, they should talk to their colleagues and make sure science, not politics, wins the day.

Arthur Cerullo, Portland

ALA national board member, ALA of the Northeast board member and ALA Maine Leadership Board member

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