Washington, D.C. – According to a new Clear the Air report released today, the vast majority of air pollution from the nation’s dirtiest power plants could be cleaned up with modern pollution controls – and should be under the Clean Air Act – but would remain untouched under the Bush Administration's new rules. Authored by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, “Lethal Legacy” is the first analysis of newly released EPA data on power plant emissions in 2002. U.S. Sen. Jim Jeffords, I – Vt., the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today joined in the release of a report. Yesterday, the Bush Administration published its final New Source Review rule which allows power plants to upgrade their facilities without installing additional pollution controls. The rule is considered the greatest rollback of the Clean Air Act in history. Jeffords said, “This report documents last year’s emissions of smog-forming nitrogen oxides, soot-forming sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide from the dirtiest power plants in the nation and shows how the emissions will increase under the Bush Administration’s policies. It adds further evidence to the fact that the Bush Administration is putting the profits of power companies ahead of public health.” According to the new report, the 548 oldest and dirtiest grandfathered power plants constitute about half of the power plants nationwide, but are responsible for emitting more than 98% of the smog-forming nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution, 99% of soot-forming sulfur dioxide (SO2) pollution, and 91% of global warming gas carbon dioxide (CO2) from the entire electric sector. These plants are responsible for this lion’s share of pollution because Congress gave older power plants a temporary exemption or “grandfathering” from new pollution standards in the 1977 Clean Air Act amendments. These grandfathered plants are still using pollution control equipment that dates from the 1950s and 1960s, and are therefore emitting 80% to 90% more pollution per unit of electric output than a new plant. Jeffords continued, “We reap what we sow, and this Administration has chosen dirtier sources of energy at the expense of the health of our children and grandchildren. As this report indicates, the pollution created by the Bush Administration’s New Source Review rules will mean as many as 400,000 more asthma attacks and 20,000 more premature deaths each year because of air pollution.” Copies of the full report are available upon request.