Fact Sheet: Clear Skies: A Clear Improvement for the Environment
President Bush's Clear Skies Initiative and Legislation
- Today in remarks in the East Garden, President Bush called on Congress to pass Clear Skies legislation to expand the Acid Rain Program, the Clean Air Act's most successful program to cut air pollution.
- Clear Skies mandates a 70 percent cut in air pollution from power plants over the next 15 years including the first-ever national cap on mercury emissions.
- Clear Skies would help cities and counties across America meet the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) stringent new health-based air quality standards for ozone and fine particles.
- Clear Skies will improve air quality using a proven, market-based approach that will reach the Nation's air quality goals while keeping energy affordable for American consumers and businesses.
Background on The Clear Skies Initiative
- Clear Skies Dramatically and Steadily Cuts Power Plant Emissions
- Cuts sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions by 73 percent, from current emissions of 11 million tons to a cap of 4.5 million tons in 2010, and to 3 million tons in 2018.
- Cuts emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 67 percent, from current emissions of 5 million tons to a cap of 2.1 million tons in 2008, and to 1.7 million tons in 2018.
- Cuts mercury (Hg) emissions by 69 percent - the first-ever national cap on mercury emissions. Emissions will be cut from current emissions of 48 tons to a cap of 26 tons in 2010, and to 15 tons in 2018.
- Clear Skies Brings Dramatic Clean Air Improvement to Many Cities and Counties. Clear Skies, in combination with new EPA requirements on diesel engine emissions and current state and federal programs will:
- 111 counties nationwide to attain the stringent new fine particle air quality standards; only 18 counties will need to take further steps to meet the standards.
- 263 counties nationwide to attain the stringent new ozone air quality standards; only 27 counties will need to take further steps to meet the standards.
- Help thousands of Americans with asthma and other respiratory illnesses to avoid attacks, and reduce the risk to children who may otherwise be pre-natally exposed to mercury.
- Bring improvements in visibility to some of the most popular national parks, and will make great strides in protecting the health of our ecosystems by reducing acid rain, nitrogen deposits, and mercury in the environment.
- Clear Skies Uses a Proven Market-Based Approach
- Expands America's most successful clean air program - the 1990 Clean Air Act's Acid Rain Program.
- Cuts pollution further, faster, cheaper, and with more certainty than current clean air programs by using an emissions trading program that creates an economic incentive for early reductions.
- Creates incentives to develop and install the newest technologies to control emissions from coal-fired power plants.
- Replaces a cycle of endless litigation with rapid and certain improvements in air quality.
- Clear Skies Saves Money for American Energy Consumers and Promotes Job Growth
- Helps communities meet health-based air quality standards without significantly increasing the price of electricity.
- Allows manufacturers to expand and grow businesses - creating jobs.
For more information on the President's Initiatives, please visit www.whitehouse.gov
George W. Bush, Fact Sheet: Clear Skies: A Clear Improvement for the Environment Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/281951