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This photo, taken from my front window in winter, represents the beauty of North Dakota and what I want to pass on to future generations.

Clean Air Ambassador | Bowdon, North Dakota

Laurel Jones

After living away for 40 years, I retired and returned to my hometown of Bowdon, ND, a farming community of 130 people in the center of the state. We are located on the very eastern edge of the Bakken formation and have not yet been impacted by the oil boom—except that the natural gas flaring in western North Dakota is dumping the equivalent carbon dioxide of 950K+ vehicles into our air. Our state legislature is doing little to nothing to address this issue; it seems their focus is drill, drill, drill.

I love my little town. We live in a beautiful space here, and I want to keep it that way for future generations. Since the area is vast and open, there is some attitude that what we as individuals do won't make that much of an impact. I do not agree with that—we may not be able to do everything, but we can do something, and each thing we do counts.

One of the most important things we can do is to make our voices heard with our elected officials. I am in regular contact with my local government, and my senators and congressman. Communication and cooperation are the keys, and I value this opportunity to be part of such a program.

We may not be able to do everything, but we can do something, and each thing we do counts.

50 States United For Healthy Air

Clean air should be a fundamental right. Air pollution causes asthma attacks, lung disease, and even death. But our bodies don't have to be the dumping ground for dirty industries.

The technology to dramatically reduce harmful air pollution is available today, and major polluters should be required to use it.

Clean Air Ambassadors from every state are sending a powerful message: Everyone has a right to breathe clean, healthy air.

It’s time Congress and the EPA used their ears to help our lungs.