The Sky is Clearing, and cooperating.

First, we have The ultra left Washington Monthly writing good things about W’s Clear Skies Initiative. Gasp! (hat tip to Slant Point)

It is hard to find a leading environmental advocate who has not denounced Clear Skies, the Bush administration’s bill to reduce power-plant pollution. Clear Skies headed the Kerry campaign’s list of “The Bush/Cheney Top 10 Environmental Insults,” and has been repeatedly assailed by green activists for gutting the historic Clean Air Act. Al Gore has said that Clear Skies should be renamed “Dirty Skies.” The proposal has become a prime exhibit for those who delight in examples of Bush doublespeak.

Yet this vitriol seems strangely at odds with the express goals of the legislation. Clear Skies requires utilities to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and mercury by about 70 percent by 2018. The Environmental Protection Agency projects Clear Skies will prevent the deaths of 14,100 Americans a year—akin, in a sheer body count, to saving the life of every person who died from HIV in the United States in 2003.

I admit, I haven’t read enough on the issue as I should. My thing tends to be water pollution. But this is good news. Why do people deride the initiative? Would the answer be "because Bush is proposing it?" I would have to say yes. But the basic premise is one that I have preached for years: cooperation. I have always dislike the Republican model, which seems to be business first, despite what happens to the environment. And I do not like the Democratic model, which is regulate to death, slap some fines on, and spend half the EPA’s budget on litigation. Environmental groups like Greenpiece and the Sierra Club? Lunatics that give environmentalism a bad name and a black eye.

What is needed is cooperation. Why not work together to solve the problems? Stop spending time and money either ignoring the problem or in court. Pool the recourses of private industry and the government to come up with long term solutions.

Yes, reglation, fines, and lawsuits have their place. I fully and totally agree with the fines leavied on the companies and hospitals out of NY that were involved in illegal dumping of medical waste off the coast of Long Island in the late 80’s, which drifted down the coast of New Jersey. It is rather disconcerting, not to mention disgusting and dangerous, to see a used bag of blood floating by while trying to catch some choice waves. As well as having a bud come out of the ocean and have a hypodermic sticking into a medium thick coat of fiberglass. Imagine if that was his body. What would that needle have done?

I digress. The Clear Skies Initiative is a plan that people should get behind. It will reduce air pollution. When it comes to politics, you cannot get much better.

Oh, and BTW, Italy is pulling out of that worthless travesty of a plan, the Kyoto Protocol.

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2 Responses to “The Sky is Clearing, and cooperating.”

  1. “Why do people deride the initiative?”

    Because it is much less effective than the measure it replaced. And because it took away the provision that specified that when a power plant expands, it must upgrade to the newest anti-pollution technology.

    See this, from the lunatic Sierra Club:

    (Why “lunatic”, BTW? I’m a member. I can tell you we are far from radical . . . we are just an issue advocacy and lobbying group, like many others. You can bet the energy companies that are effected by these regs have their own! And they are much richer. Why can’t we have a lobbying effort to represent environmental standards without they are labelled “lunatic”?)

  2. Sorry it took so long to reply, I can only see the last 5 comments from the Typepad interface. Why lunatics? I used to be a supporter of the Sierra Club years ago. Donated $, always bought a calendar, got them as gifts. But then their leadership started taking a tone that was more radical, and many started referring to them as out of the mainstream, and becoming more like Greenpeace. I cannot condone that kind of activity. If they have become less extreme, let me know, I will be more then happy to go back to donating and involvement. But, when groups go overboard and act in ways that get even the liberal MSM’s to denigrate them, it hurts the environmental movement. Regular folks start thinking the groups have “chicken little” syndrome.

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