Bush Pollution Plan Falls Short on Saving Lives

More than 90 percent of the 23,600 deaths caused in the U.S. each year by pollution from old coal-fired power plants could be prevented if the federal government adopted tough emissions regulations, according to a new study, but President Bush’s preferred pollution-control plan falls far short of that mark. The study — conducted at the request of a coalition of enviro groups by Abt Associates, a consulting firm that often does research for the U.S. EPA — compared Bush’s Clear Skies plan with two other legislative proposals and found that while his would save 14,000 lives per year, the competing plans would save 16,000 and 22,000. Enviros intend to make this an issue in the presidential campaign; they note that three swing states — Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida — now have the highest numbers of deaths from power-plant pollution. The study sponsors have set up a website that lets people track down power plants in their area and see how much pollution they emit and how many deaths they cause.