Dan Rodricks reminds us that care for the environment used to be a bipartisan affair ("Hogan missed dad's lesson on pollution," Jan. 27). At his inauguration, Maryland's new governor rightly praised his former-Congressman father (Lawrence J. Hogan Sr.) for teaching him "more about integrity in one day than most men learn in a lifetime." According to Mr. Rodricks, however, the elder Mr. Hogan's vote in 1972 to pass the Clean Water Act — over President Richard Nixon's veto — should have inhibited our governor from withdrawing new rules to reduce the amount of pollution from chicken manure seeping into the Chesapeake Bay.

Similarly, in the passage of the Clean Air Act of 1970, Representative Hogan voted with a nearly unanimous Congress in authorizing comprehensive federal and state regulations to limit air emissions from both cars and factories and in anticipating the establishment of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by the close of the year. Given his father's support for clean air 45 years ago, we must hope that Governor Hogan's decision out of the box to also roll back the Maryland Department of the Environment's painstakingly crafted curbs on emissions from coal-fired power plants is merely temporary.

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After all, Marylanders continue to breathe the worst air on the eastern seaboard and those of its citizens who reside near coal-fired power stations — like Baltimore's Crane and Wagner — are at even greater risk of asthma and other respiratory diseases related to those plants' emission of sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxides.

Governor Hogan should seize the moment, recall his father's environmental record and good example, and lead the Free State into a new era of environmental bipartisanship. If so, his legacy will be marked by the conviction that Maryland's children, adults and seniors deserve clean air.

Joe Garonzik, Baltimore

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