Bush Campaign Lies
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
Bush Campaign Lie #41: 'Clear Skies' is the Most Aggressive Presidential Initiative to Reduce Power Plant Emissions
I am at a loss to describe Christine Todd Whitman's statement supporting Bush's environmental record and questioning Kerry's commitment to the environment. It is so chock full of lies I was tempted to just lump all of them into a single post, but our environment deserves better than that.
Whitman is pumping the Clear Skies Initiative because it targets reductions in three pollutants: nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and mercury. And Whitman may indeed be correct that this legislation would introduce the first-ever cap on mercury emissions, but it's a cap which would likely allow more mercury emissions than rigorous enforcement of current laws. As the Washington Post opines:
Levels of mercury almost certainly will be higher, or at least will stay higher longer -- an ominous sign in a week in which the EPA, separately, announced that one in 12 American women have mercury levels in their blood high enough to harm an unborn fetus. Local and state pollution regulators also dislike the bill because, they say, it removes regulatory tools they've used in the past, making it more difficult for states to meet air quality standards in particular places.But hey, you don't have to take the 'liberal' Post's word for it --- the nonpartisan group OMB watch reports that bipartisan legislation in the Senate would have been a better bill, but the administration tried to cover it up.
And to me, that really signifies that the administration is being honest with the public: when they try to quash legislation that benefits the public health and the environment.
And in case anyone's interested, the National Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club don't think the Clear Skies initiative is all that great, either. Then again, maybe I'm not being fair. Whitman only said that Bush's plan was 'aggressive'. Perhaps she really meant that it was the environment, and not the polluters, who would bear the brunt of Bush's aggression. In which case, she's absolutely correct.