U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander today told Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson that the Bush Administration should “take credit for its strong new rules on pollution from nitrogen and sulfur in the Clean Air Interstate Rule [CAIR], and ask Congress to write its provisions into law.”
CAIR is based on the acid rain program, a ‘cap and trade’ emissions program enacted by the first President Bush. “That approach was market based, and it worked – acid rain has been reduced by 40 percent since 1990,” Alexander said. “Putting this new rule into law would likewise give certainty to companies and keep our air cleaner over the long term.”
Speaking at a hearing of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee at which Johnson testified, Alexander added that “President Bush has quietly built a record that is greener than most Americans realize.” He noted four other administration actions that have benefited the environment:
•Requiring that diesel fuel be low-sulfur;
•Establishing the first regulations on mercury emissions for power plants (although Alexander said he wanted to strengthen those standards);
•Signing into law the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, which guarantees that 1/8th of revenue from oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico will go to the Land and Water Conservation Fund; and
•Proposing the National Parks Centennial Initiative, which could provide up to $3 billion for national parks over the next ten years.