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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Pataki and the Governator look at the "Clear Skies" plan.

posted by Jazz at 2/26/2005 09:55:00 AM

NOTE: YOU ARE VIEWING AN ARCHIVED POST AT RUNNING SCARED'S OLD BLOG. PLEASE VISIT THE NEW BLOG HERE.

"Excuse me, Mr. President, but our major cities appear to be drowning in toxic crap pits."

That's not exactly what they said, but the message was clear. In this article, "Clear Skies' plan: the battle heats up", a number of people, including ten State Attorneys General, raise complaints about the various and well documented shortcomings of Bush's environmental policies.

The congressional fight over the Bush administration's clean air plan has turned into a political knock-down, drag out at several levels.

Ten state attorneys general are publicly opposing it. Environmental activists and labor unions are at odds over the measure, illustrating the classic split over jobs versus the environment. State and local air-pollution control officials and agencies have weighed in, prompting the chairman of the Senate environment committee to question their motives and investigate their possible connection to activists.

Two prominent Republican governors - George Pataki of New York and Arnold Schwarzenegger of California - have urged Washington to make sure that states be allowed "to have stronger pollution controls than those set for the nation as a whole," as is the case under current law. Their recent letter to congressional leaders was polite, but it made an important point: That heavily populated areas like New York City and Los Angeles may need stronger laws than those favored by the Bush administration and polluting industries.

The president's proposal "is rife with loopholes for polluters and litigation," says Sen. James Jeffords, (I - Vt.) the senior minority member of the Senate committee. It "rewrites major portions of the Clean Air Act to delay attainment of the health-based standards - leaving millions of Americans to breathe dirty air longer."

I've been waiting for the backlash on this to start. A lot of the claims that Bush makes about this initiative, are either heavily distorted or flat out lies. (Particularly on the mercury claims.)

I'm not sure what sort of response this will get in the rest of the Senate, and I'm not hopeful that the bull headed administration will even listen, but it is very good to see somebody raising the flag on this. Environmental concerns in this country have been swept under the rug by the flood of attention paid to terrorism and national security.