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U.S. Opinions: Kansas City

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Celebrate Earth Day

From an editorial in the Kansas City Star on Monday:

As the nation celebrates Earth Day, it’s an excellent opportunity to highlight the positive initiatives taken in the past to protect the air, water and land we all depend on for life. U.S. laws have cleaned up rivers and the air, especially in large cities.

Yet Earth Day 2014 also occurs at a time when many difficult challenges still remain.

In Washington, members of Congress could ditch their head-in-the-sand approach to climate change and directly address the very real concerns it raises. Lawmakers should take a renewed look at how to push industries that pollute this country to reduce their harmful emissions. This often can be through common-sense improvements to coal-burning plants that end up creating jobs in the anti-pollution industry.

GOP lawmakers also should pull back on attempts to undermine the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to carry out its mission – created by a Republican president – to shield air, water and land from long-lasting damage. The EPA, if anything, needs a bigger stick to carry in enforcing strong federal laws.

Finally, residents can take simpler steps such as planting trees, participating in stream cleanups, taking public transit and buying more efficient light bulbs.

Those are admittedly small changes that, if done by enough people, will benefit Earth today and long into the future.

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