- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The computer models showed that most of the country would meet the national clean air standards for smog and fine particulates. Fewer premature deaths nationwide by 2010 would result in a $40 billion annual health benefit. That figure would blossom to $96 billion by 2020. That compares to the projected cost of $6.5 billion for the program.
The CSI should virtually eliminate severe impacts of acid rain in the Northeast. The USEPA forecasts that the percentage of acid rain impacted lakes in the Adirondack Mountains would be reduced from about 25 percent to 3 percent.
The USEPA predicted that implementation of these measures to reduce pollutants would not have an adverse impact on electricity prices. The regulatory window would allow energy generators to make cost efficient plans to comply with the new requirements.
Battle lines are drawn among the political leaders. Al Gore said the "Clear Skies Initiative," President Bush's plan for controlling pollution from electric power plants, would allow more pollution than laws already on the books. Senator Jim Jeffords had introduced more stringent measures (Clean Powers Act) before the issuance of the CSI. The senator's bill would seek to control more pollutants to a tighter standard in less time.