WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today commented on the courts’ striking down the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR rule).
"Today, our air is less clean because of the Democrats’ inaction in 2005,” Senator Inhofe said. “It is a shame that the courts have struck down the CAIR rule, which was the only administrative solution after the Democrats killed the more comprehensive Clear Skies legislation in 2005.The Democrats and their environmental allies have jeopardized the ability to reduce sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx), and mercury because they held Clear Skies hostage to the political issue of carbon caps. The failure to make further reductions in pollution is clearly at their feet.
“Passing Clear Skies would have greatly aided state and local governments to comply with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The Democrats instead chose the path of attempting to litigate their way to cleaner air, and that has resulted in delaying progress, has yielded little or no results, and has wasted millions in taxpayer dollars.”
The Clear Skies act would have reduced power plant emissions of SO2, NOx, and mercury by 70% across the nation, the largest emission reduction effort ever proposed by an American president. The Clear Skies act would have saved an estimated14,000 lives a year. The bill failed to gain a majority in the EPW Committee by a vote of 9 to 9 in 2005. The failure by Democrats to support Clear Skies resulted in more litigation, more costs, and less certainty for businesses and less certain cuts in pollution.