Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Thursday | January 02, 2003

NE states challenge Bush pollution rules

Changes in Clean Air Act regulations that take effect today have been immediately challenged by nine Northeastern states.

Eliot L. Spitzer, the New York attorney general and an organizer of the suit, said, "The Bush administration has taken an action that will bring more acid rain, more smog, more asthma and more respiratory disease to millions of Americans."
The regulations allow old coal-powered plants to upgrade without installing pollution-reducing equipment.

But that wasn't enough -- Bush's people also issued a new proposal that would allow more power plant and industrial facilies to escape pollution controls.

I'm not up on my administrative law, so I couldn't speculate on the suit's chances. But the attorney generals will argue that Bush couldn't relax the rules without Congressional approval. In effect, Bush's actions violate the letter of the Clean Air Act, and are thus illegal.

And how about a bit of irony to ring up the new year?

The nine that filed today were Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

The filing puts Christie Whitman, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, in an awkward position.

As the governor of New Jersey, Mrs. Whitman had joined other states in seeking relief from Midwestern power plants whose smokestack pollution drifted eastward. Now, as head of the agency promulgating the new rules, she is in the position of defending those rules.

That's what you get for being a "moderate" in the GOP. You get to participate in an Orwellian administration and its allies that argue that relaxing pollution controls will improve air quality:
The National Association of Manufacturers said the rules would "help further clean air and boost energy security" and "provide business planners with greater certainty as they work to increase production and limit air pollution in a cost-effective manner."

Posted January 02, 2003 08:51 AM | Comments (13)


Bush Administration
Business and Economy
Foreign Policy

© 2002. Steal all you want.
(For non-commercial use, that is.)