In the Deseret News' terrific series on air quality, Gov. Gary Herbert is quoted as saying he "trusts" businesses and individuals to voluntarily do their part to "improve air quality" ("Does Utah have the political will to make tough pollution choices?" Aug. 11). Thus, he opposes new regulations, even if those are proven to clean out the toxins that are sickening our children — and scaring away business.

That attitude demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of how America has improved our air and water over the past few decades. We didn't get dangerous lead out of gasoline because refineries "voluntarily" removed it. We passed the Clean Air Act.

We didn't "ask" cities and towns to stop dumping raw sewage into our rivers and lakes. We passed the Clean Water Act.

Those are just two of dozens of examples of how America made sure we can all live healthier and preserve this beautiful planet for generations to come. It's time for Herbert and others to drop their irrational fear of environmental safeguards.

Zachary Barrows