BILL HOLBROOK 202-224-5762

MATTHEW DEMPSEY 202-224-9797

WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee said a decision last week by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruling that a national parks program to reduce haze and improve air quality in five Western states is not legal, shows why S. 131, the “Clear Skies Act of 2005” is necessary to provide certainty to the process,

“The court’s ruling last week overturning a more than a decade long process dealing with visibility issues in the West underscores the need for a clear statutory framework to reduce pollution in this country -- rather than the piecemeal and uncertain way the Clean Air Act currently operates,” Senator Inhofe said. “The Clear Skies bill currently being discussed in the Senate EPW committee is modeled after the national cap-and-trade Acid Rain Program, which is our nation’s most successful clean air initiative – reducing pollution faster and less costly than ever before. This program has been practically litigation-free, whether it was in the implementation of regulations or the enforcement. In addition, the program has been almost completely violation free. I am hopefully that we can bring certainty to the process and a stop to the endless litigation under current law by moving forward with the Clear Skies bill.”