by Richard J. Trzupek
The Epoch Times
On June 18, The Associated Press published a story under the byline of Seth Borenstein and Nicky Forster with the troubling headline “US Air Quality is Slipping After Years of Improvement.” While there are grains of truth in both the headline and the story that follows, there’s also a great deal of deception and ignorance in the tale Borenstein and Forster attempt to fashion.
The truth is that the changes in air quality cited are statistically insignificant, largely driven by wildfires, and do nothing to contradict claims that America’s air is as clean as it has ever been.
The metric the pair chose to use to prove that air quality is “slipping” is the Air Quality Index, or AQI. Based on a Twitter exchange Borenstein had with Junk Science founder Steve Milloy, the reporter appears to believe that use of AQI is an appropriate way to measure changes in air quality. In response to Milloy’s query whether or not tightened EPA standards were factored in, Borenstein replied, in part: “Change in air quality standards factored in. Spent weeks double checking this, other data issues w/EPA. Apples to apples comparisons.”