When we breathe it in, soot can interfere with our lungs and increase the risk of asthma attacks, lung cancer and even premature death. The smallest particles can pass into the blood stream and cause heart disease, stroke and reproductive complications.
When cyclones tear up Oklahoma and hurricanes swamp Alabama and wildfires scorch Texas, you come to us, the rest of the country, for billions of dollars to recover. And the damage that your polluters and deniers are doing doesn't just hit Oklahoma and Alabama and Texas. It hits Rhode Island with floods and storms.
When you don't have accountability, there's no limit to the things that people will say. One of the restraints on the vitriol and the filth that so often is part of the American political debate is that candidates have to stand by their ads.
According to the IRS, the wealthiest 400 Americans, who earned an average of roughly $270 million in 2008, paid an average tax rate of just 18.2 percent that year. That's about the same rate paid by a single truck driver in Rhode Island. It's not right, and we need to restore fairness to our tax code.
When counting on learning from innovation, there are great successes but also failures. The Wright Brothers invented the aircraft and started an amazing process of innovation, where we now have planes that carry 500 passengers. Along the way there were some silly looking vehicles that crashed early on.
Five states - Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois and North Carolina - have been identified by the EPA as contributing significantly to Rhode Island pollution. As of 2010, 284 tall smokestacks - stacks over 500 feet - were operating in the United States: needles injecting poison into the atmosphere.
Trapped in the bureaucracy nightmare, real families suffer when the big banks and their servicers force foreclosures. The emotional toll on children packing up their rooms and on parents struggling to find a temporary roof is a deep one.
How arrogant - how very far from humility - would be the self-satisfied, smug assurance that God, a tidy-up-after-us God will come and clean up our mess? Hope for a nanny God, who will with a miracle grant us amnesty from our folly - that's not aligned with either history or the text of the Bible.
The birthers, the fanatics, the people running around in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups, it is unbearable to them that President Barack Obama should exist.
Rhode Island works hard to reduce air pollution in our communities. We passed laws to prohibit cars and buses from idling their engines and to retrofit school buses with diesel pollution controls. But there is only so much a single state can do, particularly against out-of-state pollution.
If we believe in an all-powerful God, then we must then believe that God gave us this Earth, and we must in turn believe that God gave us its laws of gravity, of chemistry, of physics. We must also believe that God gave us our human powers of intellect and reason.
I think that it's very, very hard for the NRA to continue to defend the position that people who are on the terrorist watch list should be allowed to buy firearms in this country. That's their position. I don't know how they stand by it.
In the long term, a robust health IT network will support personalized treatment that adheres to proven best practices, and adapts to your personal health circumstances. The time will come when, whatever illness you may have, for your body type and health history, there will 'be an app for that' to keep you on your best path to wellness.
These core principles - helping patients, preventing medical errors, promoting best practices and improving quality - are the reasons that health IT is featured in both the 2012 Republican platform and 2012 Democratic platform.
When Rhode Island Senator Claiborne Pell first proposed the grants that now bear his name, he envisioned a way to help students attend our country's wonderful colleges and universities, so they could share in the American Dream.