Failure of Bush Administration's Clear Skies Initiative Activates Regulations to Weaken Environmental Enforcement
Interview with John Walke, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's clean air program, conducted by Melinda Tuhus
In 2002, the Bush administration introduced their so-called "Clear Skies Initiative," which would have re-written the bedrock Clean Air Act passed more than 30 years ago. The legislation, which Washington observers say was written by industry, would have tilted the law to favor polluters and away from protecting public health by reducing toxic emissions as quickly as possible. The bill also would have done nothing to regulate greenhouse gasses, a major cause of global warming.
But after three years of trying, the Republican-controlled Congress has been unable to get the bill out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, where it died recently on a 9 to 9 vote. But the administration immediately activated regulations that implement many of the same things to weaken enforcement that the failed legislation was designed to do.
Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with John Walke, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's clean air program about these regulations, one of which regulates interstate air pollution, and another that deals with extremely toxic mercury emissions, that Walke warns are especially harmful.
For more information, call the Natural Resources Defense Council at (202) 289-6868 or visit their website at www.nrdc.org
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