Thursday, September 22, 2005

Bill in Congress would permit smokestacks to spew more pollution, using Katrina as an excuse

Another development: Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) has introduced new dirty-air legislation related to Katrina. His bill, which may be part of the upcoming markup expected next week by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, would change the Clean Air Act to permit actual increases in pollution from smokestack industries. (This issue -- "new source review" -- has been the subject of much controversy in the past several years. The Bush administration has tried to do something similar, but the plan has been stalled by lawsuits by states and environmentalists.)

This break would NOT be limited to refineries. And it would take away the rights of states to set tougher requirements.

It would also mean near-automatic approval of plans to expand refineries. And the federal government would be defending oil companies in court.

In short. this is one more deplorable example of Katrina being used as a pretext to bulldoze clean-air protections

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