BushCo must be feeling the pressure to oblige as many FoCs as possible before it gets run out of town on a rail. (I’ve got my vat of hot tar, do you?) Thus, this “environmentally friendly” move by the E.P.A. (via The Washington Post):
The Bush administration is on the verge of implementing new air quality rules that will make it easier to build power plants near national parks and wilderness areas, according to rank-and-file agency scientists and park managers who oppose the plan.
The new regulations, which are likely to be finalized this summer, rewrite a provision of the Clean Air Act that applies to “Class 1 areas,” federal lands that currently have the highest level of protection under the law. Opponents predict the changes will worsen visibility at many of the nation’s most prized tourist destinations, including Virginia’s Shenandoah, Colorado’s Mesa Verde and North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt national parks.
Yep. Because when people go hiking in the wilderness and look out over a stunning vista they think “Eww! I can see for miles. Can’t we get some smog in here?”
Jesus Christ in a bumper car. Who is behind this travesty?
Jeffrey R. Holmstead, who now heads the environmental strategies group at the law firm Bracewelll & Giuliani [Yes, that Giuliani – ed.], helped initiate the rule change while heading the EPA’s air and radiation office. He said agency officials became concerned that the EPA’s scientific staff was taking “the most conservative approach” in predicting how much pollution new power plants would produce.
Oh noes! Not the conservative approach, anything but the conservative approach! Conservatives hate the conservative approach. When it affects their ability to spend liberally.
What’s this? Dissent among the ranks?
A slew of National Park Service and EPA officials have challenged the rule change, arguing that it will worsen visibility in already-impaired areas, according to internal documents obtained by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
One final thing. Good luck finding out anything about this dude:
When the committee chairman, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), asked the EPA whether the rule would facilitate construction of more power plants near protected areas, Robert J. Meyers, principal deputy assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, replied in an April 24 letter that this was not the intention of the rule but that he could not rule it out.
I’m not sure, because the man seems to have spontaneously appeared at the EPA, but I think he once owned a company that studied oil spills. Which would make his un-remarked appearance at OAR less than logical. Under any reign but the Chimperor’s.
Clean air? Waaay over rated.