Saturday :: Sep 6, 2003

Another Day, Another Clean Air Victory


by Mary

Posted by Mary
Last year, the EPA decided that the Clinton ban on snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park would be harmful to the interests of the local communities and they came up with a new rule that actually increased the number of snowmobiles allowed in the park. They justified this by saying that the newer snowmobiles would be cleaner and as these new systems rolled out, clean air goals could be reached.

But Park Service officials contend that the proposed cap, combined with a requirement permitting only a new generation of cleaner, quieter snow machines, will put an end to business as usual by protecting the health of people and wildlife while reducing noise levels.

Currently, a single snowmobile can pollute as much as 100 cars, so having a rule that governs their emissions was seen as a political necessity even for the Bush EPA. Last September, Christie Todd Whitman signed a rule governing the emissions that could be produced by snowmobiles. Even so, as with so many of the rules published by the Bush administration, the rules were carefully crafted to be very conscious of the concerns of industry and only marginally concerned about the impact on those other non-tangibles: the effect on the environment or the health of those who have to live in the affected area.

The industry assured the public and the Bush administration that they would be partners in reaching the new clean air goals. As long as those pesky environmentalists didn't derail the process, a genuine win-win situation was possible just knowing that the industry was going to do its part in lowering emissions.

Nice promises, but now it is apparent that the greed of the industry overcame the needs of the community. Thursday, the EPA released a report that showed that for the most part the newest snowmobiles are more polluting than last year's models (some spewing 200% more pollutants than earlier models). The snowmobile manufacturers say their buyers don't want wimpy models and so they are just responding to the needs of their market.

Under Bush's watch, once again victory goes to industry. Of course, they bought and paid for this president, so we shouldn't be too surprised.

BTW: don't miss this article if you want to know how Bush's voluntary Clean Air standards are working in Texas.

Mary :: 1:15 PM :: Comments (1) :: Digg It!