Uh-huh: To save water, LA pays folks to tear out lawns that fight smog, costing billions

This would be so California-hilarious if it didn’t affect the health of millions of its citizens.

Statistics show that after some years of improvement, mainly nationally, air in the country’s capital of smog, Los Angeles, is deteriorating again. Los Angeles has chronically been the worst place for childhood asthma too.

Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reports:

has long reigned as the nation’s smog capital and has seen a resurgence of dirty air in the last few years, one that has sharpened the divide between wealthier coastal enclaves with cleaner air and lower-income communities farther inland with smoggy air.

By the day, California is falling farther behind in its mandated effort under the Clean Air Act to slow ozone pollution. By 2020, the state’s regulators must submit a comprehensive ozone-pollution reduction plan to the federal government.

You’ll never guess what California Democrats say they need to fight air pollution — dollars, billions of them. But nobody knows where that kind of dough is in the nation’s most populous state that just jacked its gas taxes this week.

Now, here’s the story you’re not likely to see elsewhere:

Los Angeles has shelled out millions of dollars — and still is — to people to tear out their grass lawns because they allegedly used too much water during the area’s recent years of drought. Uh-huh.

The drought is over. But the Los Angeles County’s Waterworks Districts are still signing up homeowners under their Cash for Grass program. Their website boasts of having paid to tear out and replace more than two million square feet of “inefficient turf.”

Here’s the problem with that: Every 600 square feet of grass produces enough oxygen to support one human for one day. That’s pretty efficient production of clean air.

No wonder the smog problem is worse.

Southern California authorities are talking about spending billions to fight smog that’s been worsened by the same folks paying people to tear out the grass that would combat smog.

Other than this, that plan makes great sense.