Clean Air Act more effective than proposed Clear Skies bill, panel says

A new report by the National Academy of Sciences suggests that the Bush administration’s proposed reform of current air-quality standards will effectively do less to reduce pollution than existing Clean Air Act regulations, much as critics, including John Kerry (remember him?), charged during the presidential campaign. The NAS assessment states that the 28-year-old new-source review rules requiring emissions-reducing upgrades in existing power plants is more stringent than the cap-and-trade program proposed in the Clear Skies legislation. Industry groups disagree, as does Will Hart, spokesflack for Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair James Inhofe (R-Okla.), who says, “It’s the same argument we’ve had before.” Exactly.