This nightmare can't be over any too soon.
Although the Environmental Protection Agency joined in a legal settlement this week to force the largest power-plant pollution cleanup in U.S. history, the Bush administration signaled in the agreement that it has no intention of taking enforcement actions against the utility for the same kind of Clean Air Act violations in the future.
The language of the settlement indicates that the administration has not wavered in its distaste for a Clinton-era policy of using the law to force power plants to upgrade their pollution controls whenever they significantly update or expand a plant. That marks a significant victory for the power industry, which has strenuously opposed the “New Source Review,” saying that it penalizes them for efficiency improvements that ultimately benefit consumers and the environment.
“That is something that we fought to get in the settlement that was very important to us,” said American Electric Power spokesman Pat D. Hemlepp, whose company settled with the EPA and other groups on Tuesday. “There are a lot of things we can do . . . to improve the efficiency of our plants.”
Buried in paragraph 133 of the consent decree, in which the utility agreed to install $4.6 billion in pollution-control measures at 16 existing plants and pay $75 million in penalties, is a section that assures AEP that the government will not pursue any action stemming from the “modification” of these plants between now and Dec. 31, 2018. The EPA has inserted similar language in other settlements.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Big Business Wins Again
Don't worry Big Business the Bush administration is not in any hurry to enforce the Clean Air Act. It's not like there is any thing pressing about global warming or anything. Read it and weep: