Enviros, labor unions clash over Clear Skies legislation

With the Senate Environment Committee set to vote tomorrow on the Clear Skies Act, both supporters and critics of the legislation are in high gear. Enviros, who have fought Clear Skies since it was first unveiled by the Bush administration three years ago, have been running ads in various Capitol Hill publications, and yesterday sent senators heart-shaped candy boxes with a message about the bill: “Clearly a sweetheart deal for polluters.” Over the weekend, labor-union members — who support the bill based on predicted economic and employment-related benefits — papered Illinois with fliers aimed at influencing the state’s new senator, Barack Obama (D), a member of the committee. So far, the committee is split 9 to 9 over the measure, which means the act lacks the majority support needed to bump it out of committee and onto the Senate floor; still, the Senate leadership could end up bending the rules to get it a floor vote.