Washington, D.C.-Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, issued the following statement today in response to the Bush Administration’s final rule clarifying New Source Review and its definition of routine maintenance and repair:


“For far too long, enforcement of the New Source Review (NSR) program has been burdensome, confusing, contradictory, and counterproductive to environmental progress. Today’s action by President Bush means NSR will no longer be a barrier to investments in state-of-the-art pollution control technologies that reduce pollution and make our air cleaner. In short, it takes the nation's environmental policy into the 21st Century.


“Moreover, this reform will ensure greater electricity reliability by removing regulatory obstructions to routine upgrades and repairs that help prevent accidents and power failures. As the recent blackouts so painfully showed, keeping the lights on is an absolutely essential ingredient to a functioning economy.


“While NSR reform is a significant step to a better environment, I urge my colleagues in Congress to go even further by passing President Bush’s Clear Skies legislation, which is the most aggressive Presidential initiative in history to reduce power plant emissions 70 percent by 2018.”