Monday, October 15, 2007

Bush's Dirty Bottom Line

It's a small win against the Bush administration's unyielding resistance to improving the quality of the air we breathe.... "Temporary Victory on Clean Air" NYTimes

After having spent eight years fighting a suit brought by the Clinton administration against American Electric Power....the nation's largest utility.... to force them to clean up the dirty air spewing on millions downwind of their plants, there is reason to celebrate.... kind of. AEP was told to clean up its act to the tune of $4.6 billion.

But.... the Clean Air Act has been in Darth Cheney's scope since 2001 and you know about his itchy trigger finger.... he wants to bring it down so his corporate utility buddies won't have to be responsible citizens, so they can continue raking in the cash while fouling the air.

Various courts have upheld the CAA law that says if companies significantly upgrade a plant in order to generate more power they must install state-of-the-art controls to deal with the increased pollution.

But, the utilities have resented and resisted the law and the Bush administration has paid scant attention to its enforcement. Indeed, they are doing everything they can to torpedo the law by administrative means.

Just how is the White House enabling utility companies to sidestep the law?

The administration's latest assault on the rule would "exempt plants from having to install new controls as long as their hourly rate of emissions does not increase as a result of any plant upgrade," even if by running a plant longer and harder emissions skyrocket.

So.... here's the hard reality. How can we, the lowly taxpaying electorate who must breathe the air they regulate, expect any consideration from this White House on anything if their only standard is.... the bottom line. Period.

For the bottom line.... the White House is trashing the air, the water, and our land in the name of profits. They have neglected to regulate the quality of our food, drugs and even the toys of our children.

They have raped the economy and run up deficits and debts our grandchildren will labor to pay while dragging the standard of living down to a third-world oligarchy.... but hey, the Friends of George and Dick are getting rich.

This must end in November 2008.... that's our bottom line.

1 comment:

John said...

For some more insights and analysis concerning the Bush administration's two-faced approach to Clean Air Act enforcement and air pollution control, check out my posting at http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jwalke/the_two_faces_of_steve.html.