- July 23 - A coalition of environmental groups began running ads this week in
a number of Washington DC Metro stations this weekend urging citizens to take
action to "Stop the Bush Administration's Attack on Clean Air."
The Metro ads, sponsored by the Save Our Environment coalition of national
environmental groups, feature a young girl using an asthma inhaler, with the legend:
"She'll have to use this more often… because the Bush Administration
is weakening the Clean Air Act." The ads are currently scheduled to be in
Metro stations including Capitol South, Farragut North, Farragut West and Federal
Triangle until August 31.
"The Bush Administration, backed by the coal, electric and oil industries,
has proposed the most devastating attack on the Clean Air Act in its 30-year history,"
said U.S. PIRG Clean Air Advocate Becky Stanfield. "Washington area residents
who enjoyed only one "good" air quality day in June can ill afford changes
that will increase pollution and delay cleanup of power plants and refineries,"
The Administration announced in June that it would finalize regulatory changes
to the "New Source Review" program that would allow older power plants,
refineries, chemical facilities and other industries to modify their operations
in ways that will increase pollution levels without installing modern pollution
controls, as required by today's law. This move could result in pollution increases
at more than 17,000 facilities, and has the potential to increase emissions by
hundreds of thousands of tons per year across the nation. Pollution from old,
coal-burning power plants across the nation trigger an estimated 30,000 premature
deaths and hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks annually. Dirty power plants
within fifty miles of Washington DC cause an estimated 260 premature deaths and
thousands of asthma attacks each year.
Electric utilities pushed for weakening the NSR rules during the 2000 Presidential
campaign and in the early months of the Bush Administration. Documents have emerged
showing that the Cheney Energy Task Force met and exchanged memos with Southern
Company executives on the issue. The Bush energy plan issued last spring included
a mandate to review the regulations as well as dozens of ongoing enforcement actions.
A subsequent comment period drew comments from 130,000 concerned citizens opposing
any move to weaken clean air rules.
The ads were designed by Jennifer Burton of Penczer Burton Media. The ads direct
readers to www.saveourenvironment.org
for more information, reports, fact sheets, and to take action on the issue.
U.S. PIRG is the national
lobby office of the State Public Interest Research Groups. State PIRGs are non-profit,
non-partisan public interest advocacy groups.