Bush's clean air proposal stalls in Senate

By CHRISTIAN BOURGE, UPI Congressional and Policy Correspondent  |  March 9, 2005 at 6:03 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 9 (UPI) -- President Bush's signature air quality legislation is in trouble in the Senate, where it remains mired in partisan deadlock.

The legislation, which would overhaul the Clean Air Act, failed to move out of the Senate Environment Committee Wednesday on a 9-9 vote after weeks of delay. Committee Chairman James Inhofe, R-Okla., was unable to find the vote needed to break the impasse.

Bush's "Clear Skies" initiatives replace the current industrial air pollution regulatory scheme with a cap on sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and mercury emissions, while allowing utilities and other polluters to trade credits, allowing those who fail to remain within the caps to avoid regulatory problems.

But opponents argue the legislation would undermine decades of effective clear air law and fails to include caps on carbon dioxide emissions from industrial sources, believed by many to be a contributor to global warming.

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