Washington, D.C.-Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio), chairman of the subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate Change, and Nuclear Safety, urged Congress today to support President Bush’s Clear Skies Act, which is the largest proposed emissions reduction by any President in American history.


Sen. Inhofe and Sen. Voinovich issued the following statements after the President’s Clear Skies event today at the White House:


Sen. Inhofe


“All of the noxious, fear-ridden rhetoric from extremist groups cannot obscure the fact that President Bush’s Clear Skies Act is the most ambitious initiative to reduce power plant emissions in American history. If we pass Clear Skies now, Congress can provide immediate, substantial health benefits to the American people, which can be achieved more quickly at lower cost than existing law.


“This is possible because the President has the vision to create environmental policies that harness technology and innovation, which, as history has shown, are the principal engines of environmental progress. The President understands that command-and-control approaches are no longer relevant or effective in a 21st century economy. Clear Skies represents the future of strong, results-oriented environmental protection.


“Despite reports of its demise, Clear Skies is alive and well. Sen. Voinovich and I have every intention of trying to move this legislation through the EPW Committee and will continue to amass bipartisan support to pass Clear Skies in the Senate this year.”


Sen. Voinovich “The blackout was a wakeup call that we should all listen to if we want to spare our economy a crippling blow. Our country’s electric generating capacity and transmission grid can’t meet our current needs-let alone our future ones.

“The President’s Clear Skies plan is critical to helping solve this problem-especially on the generation side-and now is the best time to move it forward. It reduces emissions by historic levels and helps ensure continued access to the reliable, low cost electricity that is so critical to job creation and our country’s economic viability. Low-cost energy is also a must if we care about the needs of those who struggle the most to make ends meet: low-income families and seniors.


“It’s my hope that Congress will seize the opportunity. There’s never been as good a time to act as now.”