Protect children, not polluters

Tuesday's dirty-energy executive orders, signed by President Trump at the Environmental Protection Agency's headquarters, are an unprecedented attack on clean-air safeguards ("Trump rolls back limits on fossil fuels," Wednesday).

Our children are among the most vulnerable when it comes to suffering the impacts of polluted air and will bear the costs, along with our families and communities. Never has a president, or an EPA head, acted with such reckless disregard for our health and well-being, in the face of the clear and present danger of climate change.

By making official his administration's plan to begin the process of dismantling America's Clean Power Plan, a plan that protects all American families by curbing dangerous carbon pollution and reducing other toxic pollutants from power plants, our president is prioritizing polluter profit over public health and undermining the most significant step that our country has ever taken to address our changing climate.

As a mother of young children, I am outraged. We have an obligation to safeguard our children's health and protect their future. Our kids are counting on it.

|Christine Dolle, Philadelphia, cdolle@momscleanairforce.org

Demand clean air

We should not have to settle for air that is still being fouled by industrial polluters, even if the proverbial deck chairs have been rearranged and more pollution is now coming from natural-gas drilling than coal-fired power plants. The allusion to the deck chairs on the Titanic is apt: we are headed for disaster if we don't act now.

As a neonatal nurse practitioner, I interact with families with infants and children struggling with asthma and other chronic respiratory ailments. The escalation of natural-gas drilling and pipeline activity is making matters worse, as this infrastructure leaks methane - a climate-forcing agent that contributes to smog - and volatile organic compounds that make breathing an even greater challenge.

Gov. Wolf is rightly developing standards to address this air pollution. If we all want to breathe easier, we should insist that our representatives in Harrisburg listen to their constituents and fast-track common-sense rules to protect the health of residents of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

|Caroline Edwards, Radnor

Trump makes good on pledge

With the signing of an executive order, President Trump delivered on his pledge to help coal by lifting energy restrictions and canceling job-killing regulations. The remarks by Trump and key members of his cabinet acknowledged the contributions of our nation's coal miners. They pledged to level the playing field and eliminate federal overreach.

Trump called for an immediate reevaluation of the so-called Clean Power Plan and a lifting of the ban on federal coal leasing. Coupled with decisive steps already taken by this administration, Tuesday's move signaled a much-needed change in policy direction. It shows that America's rich energy resources are valued once again. It recognizes that we can be pro-energy and pro-environment. In short, it provides opportunity.

The American Coal Council appreciates the president's efforts to restore fairness to the regulatory process, support job creation, strengthen energy independence, and lay the foundation for rebuilding and sustaining our nation's vital coal industry.

The council represents the collective interests of the American coal industry from the hole-in-the-ground to the plug-in-the-wall ~ in advocating for coal as an economic, abundant, and environmentally sound fuel source.

|Betsy Monseu, CEO, American Coal Council, Washington

Victimized by Obamacare

Now that the cheering is done and the Affordable Health Care Act is still in place, I want to congratulate Congress and the medical community for being so thrilled that thousands of previously uninsured people still have their health care ("Health bill collapses," Saturday).

But what about those of us who have always had coverage and whose premiums have doubled since Obamacare was enacted?

We are now unable to seek medical treatment because our deductibles have skyrocketed into the thousands of dollars.

So much for never taking advantage of the system and always paying.

|Michele Recupido, Bensalem

Small businesses need ACA

I am an actual, real-life, small businessman living and making a living in Philadelphia. I was astounded by a commentary, "Small businesses support repeal and replace" (March 23), by the communications director of the National Federation of Independent Business.

When the piece was published, I was in Washington with small-business people from across the country, brought together by the Main Street Alliance to make the case to Congress, staffers, and anyone who would listen that the Affordable Care Act was a godsend to our businesses and employees and that Trumpcare/Ryancare or any similar attempt to gut the ACA would be a disaster for us, our businesses, our employees, our states, and the national economy.

I'm sure the NFIB speaks for someone, but not for anyone in my universe. While the immediate threat has been removedby the House, it is not gone. I encourage all readers to ask operator of small businesses in their communities what the ACA has done for them.

|Michael Row, co-owner, Penn Book Center, Philadelphia, michael@pennbookcenter.com