Opinion: Legal initiatives are sometimes the only way

There is no room for a do-nothing attitude of “society will take care of it.”

Murray Walsh’s My Turn in the Sept. 1, 2020, edition of the Juneau Empire says that there is no need for a ballot proposition because society will fix things on its own, and he gives the example of the elimination of lead in gasoline. Walsh is wrong. Lead was eliminated in gasoline after years of litigation against the federal government to force it to take action, against the opposition of the petrochemical industry.

I worked on part of the litigation for an environmental law firm. If we hadn’t taken legal action, the industry would still be putting harmful lead into the air through car fumes. Sometimes, the only was to make progress is through legal initiatives.

There is no room for a do-nothing attitude of “society will take care of it.”

Douglas Mertz,

Juneau


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