Thursday, March 10, 2005

Thoughts on new EPA interstate rule

These rules are long overdue. (You may recall that former EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt tried to issue the rules last December, but the White House ordered him to delay them.)

They are a step in the right direction, though they are too little, and too late. Many states will need additional cleanup to protect their citizens. A number of eastern states complained that these requirements would still leave them with a big pollution problem.

Fortunately, yesterday’s rejection of the so-called “clear skies” plan will mean that states should retain their authority to finish the job that EPA has started.

Despite the shortcomings, these new rules are much better than “clear skies,” which would have curbed state authority and eliminated other protections in current law such as new source review.

Bottom line: these rules show the whole "clear skies" attempt was a giant con job; its real agenda was to cut breaks for polluters.

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