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Articles by Frank O'Donnell

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Cross-posted from the Wonk Room.

Today, the Obama administration proposed a sweeping plan to reduce power plant emissions that cross state lines and kill tens of thousands of Americans every year. The proposed Clean Air Transport Rule replaces the Bush administration’s so-called Clean Air Interstate Rule that was shot down by the courts because it permitted so much interstate emission trading that even some power companies filed suit. A federal court ordered EPA to fix the shaky legal grounds of the Bush plan. Power industry pollution remains so pervasive — and so often blows from one state to another — that it basically handcuffs state efforts to reduce pollution within a state’s borders. As EPA noted in a fact sheet:

Specifically, this proposal would require significant reductions in sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions that cross state lines. These pollutants react in the atmosphere to form fine particles and ground-level ozone and are transported long distances, making it difficult for other states to achieve national clean air standards.

Emissions reductions will begin in 2012. By 2014, “... Read more

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