Thursday, May 04, 2006

Senator Carper Moving Ahead with his Clean Air Planning Act

The News Journal reports that Senator Tom Carper plans to introduce the latest version of his Clean Air Planning Act today. True to form, Carper has crafted a bill that enjoys support from some moderate Republicans and even some power companies that believe that stronger emissions controls are inevitable, and perhaps even a good thing:
The overhauled bill enjoys bipartisan support, and has co-sponsors like Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., whose hometown is near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most polluted national park. The changes also won Carper's bill the support of health and environmental groups without losing the coalition of power companies that worked with him on the original bill.
"There's been a shifting within the industry, a sense that it's not so much a question of when, but how carbon dioxide pollution will be regulated by power plants," said Michael Bradley, spokesman for the Clean Energy Group, a coalition of seven utility companies that worked with Carper on the bill.
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman James Inhofe, R-Okla., criticized the bill, complaining that the sponsors seemed to have no interest in coming to a compromise.
A complaint that Tom Carper has no interest in compromise simply misses the mark. Carper, who as I once wrote is so centrist it hurts, loves to craft deals to resolve differences between opposing interests. Carper's technocratic instincts extend to the title of his bill, the Clean Air Planning Act, which unlike BushCo's Clear Skies Act, doesn't sound like it was written by a focus group.
Inhofe is frustrated because has been unable to move BushCo's bill out of his committee for three years. More and more we see energy interests demonstrating that they are more progressive than our president when it comes to the environment.


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