We are guilty of the terrible things we allow to happen.
We face three basic sources of air pollution: coal mining, oil wells and farming. As the Conference Minister of the Northern Plains Conference of the National Council of Churches, I experience the effects of air pollution by the many ways it impacts the lives of the people of the churches. The elderly person that has breathing problems, the younger person that has cancer and the child that deals with digestive issues.
We need stricter enforcement of coal dust from the two-mile long trains that haul coal across the state. Also, the oil industry needs to be controlled and guided—there have been more than 30 spills on the Botkin formation since the first of the year. Most of that was water that is used to extract the oil and natural gas. Then there should be some control of the chemicals that are put on the land to kill insects and fertilize the land. Some of the most toxic air quality in the area is found in rural areas from the dust that is blown off of the fields.
We are guilty of the terrible things we allow to happen. If I would pray for a better world for my children—and I do—I need to do something about it.