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Clearing the air

   Two different ways of improving what's in our air are subjects of discussion on today's Buffalo News Opinion page.

   The lead editorial -- The smoke clears -- praises Congress for passing and President Obama forSmoke signing the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. [All of Western New York's representatives voted for it. So did both of our senators.] Even though it doesn't go as far as many would like in meting out justice to the purveyors of coffin nails.
   The new law is, to a large degree, a deal with the devils. It makes no attempt to put Altria, R.J. Reynolds or Lorillard out of business. ... Nobody needs the failure of another Prohibition. ... But the FDA now can and will ban youth-targeting tricks such as candy-flavored cigarettes and marketing aimed at children. This is crucial, as most people who smoke picked up the habit before they were 18 years old – that is, when they were breaking the law to do so.
   Other editorials on the subject from
- The San Francisco Chronicle: The nation is left with an oddity: a Washington health agency charged with overseeing a deadly product.
- The Charlotte [N.C.] Observer: This has been a hard lesson to learn in North Carolina, which still takes pride in producing some of the world's best tobacco. But the ugly fact is that tobacco kills. Congress knew that, and did the right thing. 
- The Miami Herald, The Grand Rapids [Mich.] Press, The Kansas City Star, and The Daily Gazette in Schenectady.

   This week's offering from the Buffalo News Washington columnist Douglas Turner -- Clean energy bill will be difficult to vote for -- describes what went on inside the sausage factory as the House amended and passed the heavily compromised climate change bill.
   The 1,200-page American Clean Energy and Security Act is a mighty hard bill to vote for. ... it is a monster, driven in part by zealots, that creates new networks of expensive and conflicting bureaucracies. It is not just another Clean Air Act. The measure touches almost every aspect of private life in the United States except human sexuality and pet grooming.
(WNY vote: Louise Slaughter [D-Fairport] and Brian Higgins [D-Buffalo], yea; Chris Lee [R-Clarence] and Eric Massa [D-Corning], nay.)
   Other editorial comment:
- The Washington Post Action on climate change is overdue. But is this the best we can hope for?
The Philadelphia Inquirer If the United States is going to be the world leader in fighting global warming, it needs to walk the walk.
The Washington Times Because of its obvious negative impact on the economy, cap-and-trade is a hard sell even with large Democratic majorities.
- New York Times columnist Paul Krugman: We’re facing a clear and present danger to our way of life, perhaps even to civilization itself. How can anyone justify failing to act?

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News    


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