17 April 2005

The Dark Before Earth Day

Has anyone noticed the news lately? There's a lot in there about the Clean Air Act and EPA battles all over the nation. It's almost as if the press were celebrating Earth Day.

10 states have now joined in an action against the latest amendments to the Clean Air Act instigated by the Bush administration. From yesterday's NY Times: "Deep in the energy bill that was approved by a House committee this week, under a section titled 'Miscellaneous,' is a brief provision that could have major consequences for communities struggling to clean up their dirty air."

In essence, this "miscellaneous" provision allows communities whose air pollution is wafted from hundreds of miles away to delay meeting national air quality standards until their offending neighboring states meet those standards themselves.

Sounds reasonable, doesn't it? Imagine living in downwind Connecticut having to deal with smog from New York. One large problem: This just measure indefinitely postpones meeting emission deadlines. Emissions are the primary cause of global warming. We are already 25 years behind where we need to be on meeting the emissions standards to alleviate that problem. In my opinion, global warming should not be qualified as "miscellany."

Sometimes I think it would be easier to teach polar bears to sing "I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas" than to teach the current administration proper stewardship.

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