“State of the Air” Report Deserves Failing Grade

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         Contact for Interviews:                   

         Jody Clarke, 202.331.2252


Washington, D.C., April 30, 2003—Tomorrow, the American Lung Association (ALA) will release its annual “State of the Air” report, which grades cities across the country on their levels of ozone air pollution; but the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) is giving the ALA a failing grade for misleading Americans about the quality of the air we breathe.


In its 2003 report, the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />ALA claims that almost half of the U.S. population lives in areas with dangerous levels of ozone.  In reality, air pollution has been declining for decades, most areas of the country have clean air, and progress will continue due to already-adopted pollution-reduction measures, such as progressively tighter emission and durability standards for new vehicles.  Last fall, the Environmental Protection Agency released a report that confirmed that America’s air quality is improving—the same data groups like the ALA use for their studies.


“The State of the Air report is designed to generate alarming headlines and raise more money for the American Lung Association, rather than to provide the media and the public with accurate information on air pollution,” says CEI Adjunct Scholar Joel Schwartz.


“Instead of giving a failing grade to almost half the nation, the ALA should be letting Americans know that most of the country now meets all federal health standards for the top six pollutants and that areas not yet in attainment continue to make substantial progress,” adds CEI’s director of clean air policy, Ben Lieberman.  “No one is exposed to smog anywhere close to as much as the ALA implies.


Air Quality Experts Available for Interviews

Ben Lieberman

Director of Clean Air Policy


[email protected]


Joel Schwartz

Adjunct Scholar


[email protected]


CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website at www.cei.org.