The Center for Public Integrity’s new series on pollution, climate change and the industries fueling them is spawning reaction across the country, from editorials to emotional comments from readers.
Carbon Wars launched Sept. 29 with a collaboration between the Center, USA TODAY and The Weather Channel that identified America’s “super polluters” — the industrial sites emitting the most toxic air pollution, greenhouse gases or both. The story was accompanied by a data visualization that enables users to locate the biggest polluters within 30 miles of a particular location, or find details — including demographic data — on individual facilities.
Dozens of USA TODAY Network newspapers ran the Center’s story or produced their own versions, including localized pieces from The Arizona Republic, The Des Moines Register and the York Daily Record. Several newspapers wrote editorials:
● The Indianapolis Star: “The health consequences for Hoosiers, and for our neighbors in other states, are serious. Air pollution significantly increases the risk of cancer, heart attacks and respiratory illnesses, such as asthma. So yes, the average cost for electricity is a bit cheaper in Indiana than in Ohio — 11.33 cents per kilowatt hour versus 12.47 cents. But how much do we lose from higher health care costs and insurance rates? How many years of productivity are lost because workers are burdened by chronic illnesses? Even more important, how many lives have been cut short because our state has been slow to further reduce air pollution?”