Marc Morano 202-224-5762

Matt Dempsey 202-224-9797

WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee, today applauded the announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that power plants and other large facilities in the East cut ozone-forming emissions 11 percent between 2004 and 2005 under an EPA cap and trade program. According to EPA, eastern states have reduced NOx emissions by 57 percent since 2000 and by 72 percent since 1990. In addition, based on 2003-2005 air monitoring data, nearly 70 percent of the areas that did not meet the national air quality standard for 8-hour ozone in 2004 now have better air quality than the standard requires.

“The announcement by EPA should be great news to all Americans that our nation’s air quality is the cleanest it’s been since the 1970 Clean Air Act was passed to address the nation’s worsening air pollution problem,” Senator Inhofe said. “Once again, the data proves that our nation’s air is significantly cleaner today thanks to the policies of the Bush Administration. This achievement reflects the commitment of EPA, and in particular, the hard work of Acting Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, Bill Wehrum.

“The news gets even better – air quality will be further improved in the future thanks to the Administration's Clean Air Interstate Rule and Clean Air Nonroad Diesel Rule. According to EPA, the Clean Air Interstate Rule will reduce NOx emissions in the eastern U.S. by more than 60 percent and the Clean Air Nonroad Diesel rule will reduce nationwide NOx emissions by more than 90 percent.

“The announcementby EPA follows a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council that found that the Clean Air Interstate Rule is more effective at reducing power plant emissions and less costly than New Source Review, an approach championed by liberal special interest groups. Therefore, we should expand upon the success of improving air quality in the Eastern United States to the rest of the country. That is why I introduced legislation last week to ensure that all regions of the country must comply with the nation’s clean air health standards. As demonstrated in the East, simply enforcing the law will produce tremendous improvements.”