Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bush's EPA Rewrites Clean Air Standards "Based on the Interests of Polluters"

Some presidents would react to news their popularity was at a historic low by trying to do things that were, y'know, popular. Not President Bush. He's apparently decided to take the opposite approach, instead trying to set a new low for popularity that will stand the test of time, much like the consecutive games streak of Cal Ripken, Jr.

This
should help:
The Environmental Protection Agency yesterday limited the allowable amount of pollution-forming ozone in the air to 75 parts per billion, a level significantly higher than what the agency's scientific advisers had urged for this key component of unhealthy air pollution.

Administrator Stephen L. Johnson also said he would push Congress to rewrite the nearly 37-year-old Clean Air Act to allow regulators to take into consideration the cost and feasibility of controlling pollution when making decisions about air quality, something that is currently prohibited by the law. In 2001, the Supreme Court ruled that the government needed to base the ozone standard strictly on protecting public health, with no regard to cost. [...]

With Democrats in control of Congress, the proposal to rewrite the Clean Air Act appears to face long odds. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) called the move "outrageous," adding in a statement, "
The Bush Administration would have us replace clean air standards driven by science with standards based on the interests of polluters."
Here in Virginia, even the new weak Bush standard would mean Richmond, Hampton Roads, Roanoke, and outer DC suburbs Caroline and Stafford Counties will be in violation.

Of course, none of this affects us here in Northern Virginia. We haven't met federally required ozone limits for nearly 20 years. And we're
adding lanes of highway. Why start now?
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