To the editor:

The article which appeared in the October 31 issue of the Deseret News entitled "Cleaning the air may clean wallets," presented a decidedly lopsided view of the costs associated with this important issue. According to the American Lung Association, the costs of our continued failure to reduce air pollution are enormous. For example, a University of California at Davis study found that between 50,000 and 120,000 deaths each year could be attributed to automobile pollution. The total health costs ranged from a low of $4.43 billion to $93.49 billion annually.Other studies have revealed that the health costs associated with six major air pollutants from mobile and stationary sources range from $40 billion to $50 billion per year. In three of these studies, the Environmental Protection Agency, an arm of the Bush Administration, determined that the benefits of cleaning the nation's air far exceeded the costs. It should be noted that such analyses did not attempt to quantify the toll in human respiratory disorders affected by dirty air.

As if these findings aren't sufficient to convince even the most hardened opponent of clean air legislation, consider the damaging effects of poisoned air on crops, forests, water quality, fish and wildlife, and on buildings and monuments. Now that we have seen one-sided reports of the cost of clean air legislation, can we expect to see thorough coverage of the many benefits, financial and otherwise?

Lawson LeGate

Sierra Club

Salt Lake City