Stephen L. Johnson
Environmental Protection Agency
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Dear Administrator Johnson:
As the extent of the human tragedy on the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Gulf Coast becomes clear, it is imperative that the Americans who have been most severely affected by Hurricane Katrina get the energy they need to help them recover.
We therefore applaud your decision to waive certain problematic fuel requirements under the Clean Air Act in all 50 states. We respectfully suggest that these temporary waivers should last at least until the situation returns to normality rather than just through September 15. We also urge you to consider whether further waivers would help the nation at this time.
We believe that complying with such standards introduces delay into the production process and raises the already high cost of gasoline even higher. Given the current circumstances, the theoretical health risks that these standards are meant to prevent must be weighed against the very real health risks that are being encountered by the victims of the hurricane. The more affordable gas that will result from your actions will make rescue and recovery in the area faster and more efficient and help survivors get back on their feet quicker.
On behalf of our organizations, we therefore congratulate you on your firm leadership and compassion at a crucial juncture in this emergency. These actions will bring some additional relief to the millions directly affected by the storm as well as to all those nationwide who would suffer from high gasoline prices while the emergency continues.
Fred L. Smith, Jr.
Paul J. Gessing
Director of Government Affairs
President & CEO
President & CEO