Bush Admin. Lacked Data to Support Relaxing Emissions Rules, GAO Found

And that’s not all the GAO’s been up to. In a report released yesterday, the agency determined that the Bush administration had no real evidence to back up its claims that loosening air pollution rules for industrial plants would lower emissions and reduce health risks. The U.S. EPA, in making its case for revising the “new source review” provision of the Clean Air Act late last year, relied on anecdotes supplied by industry instead of good scientific data, the GAO found. “This report should be the final nail in the coffin of environmental credibility for this administration,” said Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut’s attorney general. This week the EPA is expected to unveil another air-pollution rule change that would allow many of the nation’s dirtiest coal-burning power plants and other industrial facilities to make major upgrades and boost output without installing good pollution-control equipment.