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Clear Skies and Legislative and Regulatory Analyses Released

Release Date: 10/27/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Eryn Witcher, 202-564-4355 /

(Washington, D.C.-October 27, 2005) Administrator Stephen L. Johnson today announced the results of the most detailed, comprehensive analysis of air ever conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The legislative and regulatory analyses compared several cap-and-trade approaches aimed at reducing sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.

"This additional information answers any remaining questions," said Johnson. "This is an apples-to-apples comparison that shows Clear Skies legislation is the clear choice for cleaner air and healthier lives."

Clear Skies will significantly expand the Clean Air Act's most innovative and successful program to cut power plant pollution of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and, for the first time, mercury by an unprecedented 70 percent in two phases. These cuts in pollution will provide substantial health benefits by imposing a mandatory multi-pollutant cap on emissions from more than 1300 power plants nationwide, reducing pollution by as much as 9 million tons annually at full implementation. The country will achieve this by spending more than $47 billion in large part to install, operate and maintain pollution abatement technology on both old and new power plants.

Clear Skies cap and trade approach will give states the most powerful, efficient and proven tool available for meeting new, tough, health-based air quality standards for fine particles and ozone. Most counties will be able to meet the new standards without having to take any new local measures beyond the Clear Skies power plant reductions. The market-based trading approach will substantially cut the overall cost of compliance that is passed on to consumers and shareholders.

Earlier today, Johnson briefed congressional members on EPA's analysis. The study incorporated the latest computer models and assumptions to create a side-by-side comparison of President Bush's Clear Skies legislation to several alternatives introduced on Capitol Hill.

The legislative and regulatory analyses project potential costs and benefits for public health, air quality, and the power sector for the years 2010, 2015, and 2020. The legislative and regulatory proposals analyzed:

1. Clean Air Planning Act (Carper, S.843 in 108th)
2. Clean Power Act (Jeffords, S.150 in 109th)
3. Clear Skies Act of 2005 (Inhofe, S.131 in 109th)
4. Clear Skies Act of 2003 (Bush Administration proposed bill, S.485 in 108th)
5. Clear Skies Manager's Mark (of S.131)
6. Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR), Clean Air Visibility Rule (CAVR)

The analyses and supporting documentation may be found online at: