Green Groups Push Bush for Utility Plant Cleanups

A coalition of 13 organizations called on President Bush to\r\nfulfill what they termed a presidential campaign pledge to clean-up\r\npollution generated by electric power plants.

A coalition of 13 organizations Friday called on President Bush to fulfill what they termed a presidential campaign pledge to clean-up pollution generated by electric power plants.

The groups, which include the American Lung Association, Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth, cited a Sept. 29 Bush campaign announcement that he would require "all power plants to meet clean air standards in order to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury and carbon dioxide within a reasonable period of time."

In a letter to Bush dated Friday, the groups said EPA Administrator Christie Whitman has already made public her support for the so-called "four pollutant" emission reductions.

EPA said it was still formulating its carbon dioxide plan. Some lawmakers oppose regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant, as do many energy and utility companies.

The letter to Bush said a four pollutant plan was needed.

"A comprehensive pollution control program for power plants, such as you outlined, is needed to address a wide range of urgent public health and environmental problems that threaten all Americans and the hospitable climate that blesses our planet," the letter said.

EPA in two recent Supreme Court decisions won free reign in setting clean air

regulations, upsetting attempts by industry groups to force stricter guidelines on the agency''s authority to write and enforce such rules.

Other groups signing the letter to Bush were: Americas Ocean Campaign, Environmental Defense, Izaak Walton League of America, League of Conservation Voters, National Environmental Trust, National Parks and Conservation Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Union of Concerned Scientists and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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