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You know, a lot of times I talk about the fact that we can grow our economy and protect our environment. Weve shown over the last decades that that is possible. Our economy has grown 164 percent in three decades. According to the EPA report released yesterday, air pollution from six major pollutants is down by 48 percent during that time. Its possible to grow the economy and protect the air. Were proving it here in America.
President George W. Bush
This year, States must begin to develop plans to comply with new health-based air quality standards. To help meet that challenge, President Bush is offering a smarter path by introducing his Clear Skies legislation and implementing air quality policies such as the Clean Air Rules of 2004, which provide the cleanest air possible with the best technology available while maintaining economic growth. This smarter approach contrasts with costly command-and-control regulations that discourage investment in new technology but encourage prolonged litigation.
Air quality in the United States has been steadily improving over the last 30 years, and through cooperation with the private sector, the Administration is working to significantly expand on those improvements. More recently, EPA estimates that from 2000 to 2003, emissions of the six major air pollutants substantially decreased, as demonstrated in the tables below (2003 data is preliminary).
Emission Reductions from All Sources
Reductions in NOx and SO 2 Emissions from Power Plants
A blend of market-based approaches and investment in new technologies represents the best approach to reducing air pollution even further and faster. The President is pursuing that balance through his market-based Clear Skies Initiative, which will place a mandatory cap on the three major power plant pollutants (sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and mercury), by imposing tough standards on diesel-emissions, and by investing in hydrogen fuel, a domestic energy source that is pollution-free, and clean coal technologies. President Bushs clean air policies will prove that substantial reductions in air pollution can be made without jeopardizing energy reliability or the U.S. economy.
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