Why is California 'worst'?

Story highlights

  • A new report lists the most polluted cities in the U.S., including several California cities
  • David Pettit: There are too many cars and trucks, oil refineries and industrial facilities
  • He says Los Angeles, for example, needs to massively expand its public transit system
  • Pettit: California needs to accelerate development of clean, renewable energy
Los Angeles frequently had "Stage 3" smog alerts when I was a kid, meaning that we weren't supposed to play outside. Fortunately, those days are over. Air quality in California, including Los Angeles, has vastly improved from decades ago. But compared to other states and to the Federal Clean Air Act health standards, California is way behind on cleaning up its air pollution.
The American Lung Association (ALA) just released its annual "State Of The Air" report listing the most polluted cities in the United States. Of the seven worst cities ranked as having the worst air quality, six -- including Los Angeles - are in California, despite the state having the toughest regulations in the country. Why is this?
The two biggest air poll