Republican Enviros Blast Bush for Withholding Information

Environment News Service (ENS)

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico, July 2, 2003 (ENS) - Withholding of vital environmental information is getting to be a bad habit with the Bush administration, REP America, the national grassroots organization of Republicans for environmental protection, said today.

REP America reacted to published reports that the administration withheld an analysis showing a Senate bill to clean up power plant pollution would be significantly more effective and cost only marginally more than the administration's "Clear Skies" plan.

REP America President Martha Marks said, "First, the administration watered down language about global warming (news - web sites) in EPA's recent state of the environment report. Then, the administration dismissed federal scientists' concerns in declaring that Yellowstone National Park is in no danger. Now, we see that senators were not given vital information about cleaning up unhealthy power plant emissions."

"The administration should treat the American people and their Congressional representatives like adults and give them the unvarnished truth about the environment," she said.

REP America believes that reducing unhealthy pollutants and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions together would be the most efficient way to clean up power plants, which are responsible for one-third of CO2 emissions across the United States. CO2 is the major heat trapping greenhouse gas responsible for global warming.

Bipartisan "four-pollutant" legislation requiring reduced power plant emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, mercury, and carbon dioxide through a market based approach is the best solution, REP America says.

In addition, new legislation should give all power plants a deadline to meet modern pollution reduction standards, the organization said.

"Thanks to enforcement of the Clean Air Act, our nation has made a lot of progress in reducing unhealthy air pollution," Marks said. "There is more work to be done, however. It's not fair that old, outdated power plants are allowed to emit more unhealthy air pollution than newer plants. All power plants should have to meet the same standards."

"The U.S. must do more to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming," Marks said. "By addressing all these issues at once, we can get more emissions reductions per dollar spent, protect public health, and give regulatory certainty to utilities and other power plant owners," Marks said.

Senate Republicans supporting the four-pollutant legislation include Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island. Another bill is co-sponsored by Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins both of Maine.

House Republicans supporting the four-pollutant legislation include Sherwood Boehlert and Sue Kelly of New York, Wayne Gilchrest of Maryland, Nancy Johnson and Christopher Shays of Connecticut, and Frank LoBiondo and Jim Saxton of New Jersey.