America has some of the cleanest air in the world — and of highly populated nations, we’re the only one to meet the World Health Organization’s strict air quality standards.
In light of these historic improvements in air quality and environmental technology, people in California may be wondering where their smog comes from. The answer isn’t particularly complicated: a sizable chunk of it comes from Asia.
While the media and environmental movement is fixated on climate change, our foreign partners refuse to step up to the plate and meet even a fraction of the United States’ pollution control standards.
This problem is most evident in California, despite the state having some of the strictest pollution controls in the country. Four of the five regions with the highest particulate matter levels are in California. Same goes for nine of the ten areas with the highest ozone levels. Part of this problem is due to the state’s unique geography, but a large part is due to the state’s exposure to pollution transport from Asia.
California has reduced its emissions of nitrous oxide and harmful airborne particulate matter by more than 70% and shed more than 650,000 manufacturing jobs since 1990. Yet politicians there are still wringing their hands about a lack of improvement in air quality and calling for still stricter pollution controls. Unfortunately, the only result of these policies will be to export jobs and import more pollution. The more it costs to manufacture goods in the U.S., the more jobs that are sent overseas to countries that don’t share America’s commitment to environmental quality, usually in Asia.
Foreign air pollution distorts the monumental progress made in the last 20 years to give us some of the cleanest air and water in the world. President Trump recently made waves in a speech celebrating America’s leadership in clean air and water, a fact too few Americans know about. That leadership is in jeopardy from draconian environmental regulations and proposals like the Green New Deal.
American producers have made great strides in preserving our environment and giving us record-breaking clean air and water. The fact that America has cleaner air than India, China, Germany, Mexico, and nearly every other developed country, despite having the largest economy in the world and a population closing in on 350 million, is something to be proud of.
It’s time to put American workers, businesses, air, and quality of life first. It’s time to share not just our energy, but also our environmental commitments, with the world.