For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 16, 2003
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
- 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
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
- 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
For more information on the President's Initiatives, please visit www.whitehouse.gov