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AUGUST 5, 2002
1:20 PM
CONTACT:  Friends of the Earth
Mark Helm: 202-783-7400 x 102
Erich Pica: 202-783-7400 x 229
National Ads Feature Frightening Image to Counter Bush's Frightening Assault on Clean Air

WASHINGTON - August 5 - As President Bush delivers a devastating blow to public health and the environment with the biggest rollback of the Clean Air Act in history, one of the nation's most vocal environmental groups today is trying to scare some sense and action into all air-breathing Americans.

A full-page ad in today's editions of USA Today (circulation 2.2 million) shows a picture of a gas mask with the headline, "You better get one … George Bush just choked the Clean Air Act." The ad refers to Bush's decision to gut part of the law and allow the nation's dirtiest, oldest power plants and factories to expand without installing air pollution control equipment.

"It's no joke that a lot of people would probably be better off today if they wore gas masks during the 'Code Red' air quality days that have become an ordinary part of summer for residents of our big cities," said Erich Pica, a Friends of the Earth energy policy analyst.

Friends of the Earth has prepared a lengthy fact sheet detailing the health and environmental impacts of the Bush decision on the arcane but pivotal part of the Clean Air Act known as "New Source Review," and also on the corporate campaign contributions that motivated the decision.

"Our commander in chief has become our polluter in chief with this industry insider move," said Pica.

Friends of the Earth is part of the world's largest federation of environmental groups, Friends of the Earth International, which unites 1 million activists in more than 70 countries. A delegation of more than 75 Friends of the Earth activists from around the world will attend the upcoming Earth Summit in South Africa.

Friends of the Earth is also part of the U.S. coalition of environmental groups that is running subway billboards on the clean air issue.

Read the fact sheet on the Clean Air Act.


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