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In July as our nation’s health care system hung in the balance, my wife and our three children visited Washington, D.C.. We made appeals to our senators and congressman -- that they be resolute in protecting Montana’s air and water, and promote appropriate budgets to rehabilitate sites where pollution is threatening the health of Montanans.

It is no coincidence that human health and environment are inevitably connected. We asked our delegation to stand up and protect the Environmental Protection Agency, rather than impair it. We condemned the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Agreement. Our family feels so passionately that these attacks on progress toward a more resilient planet must stop, and our scientists and doctors be empowered to inform the public of both their rights and responsibilities -- not the other way around. Like all parents, I expect that my family can live, work and play in a world that is free of pollution and environmental hazards. Nobody ever voted for unclean air, water and an unstable climate.

I joined parents from all over the nation for Moms Clean Air Force’s annual play-in for climate action. I was inspired by many participants, and their stories of how our current environmental challenges impacted their lives. We stood determined, to tell Washington to take real action on climate change and air pollution, which will be the ultimate burden we leave our children. Without action on pollution control, our health care crisis will escalate.

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Mark Lighthiser

Livingston

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