The "Air Pollution Management" Newsletter

June 2008
No. 362

Anti-Environment Executive and Legislative Branches

There is much deserved criticism of the Bush Administration, but their record is not as bad as it appears. CAIR was an expediency to at least force FGD on 70 percent of the plants in the East. The main Bush program was Clear Skies.

On July 29, 2002 the Bush Administration announced that it had sent legislation to Congress to implement the President's Clear Skies initiative. On February 24, 2002 President Bush announced the Clear Skies initiative, which proposes to set strict, mandatory emissions caps for sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and mercury (Hg). Clear Skies would have cut power plant emissions of these pollutants by 70 percent, eliminating 35 million more tons of these pollutants in the next decade than the current Clean Air Act.

Congress refused to pass “Clear Skies” unless carbon limits were also added. The Bush Administration could have just left the situation in limbo. But to its credit it executed an “end around” by using a court mandate to at least achieve a portion of the program.

So we had an administration which proposed more than Congress would approve and a Congress who wanted even more.

There is no longer a big utility lobby seeking to minimize mercury controls on coal-fired boilers. The utilities would support strict mercury controls in an instant if there were some certainty relative to a less than punitive carbon tax.


The conclusion is that with a McCain or Obama administration, there will be both a pro-environment administration and Congress.

Back to Gold Dust Newsletter No. 362 Table of Contents