Leahy challenges EPA ruling

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(Host) Senator Patrick Leahy has initiated a parliamentary procedure to force the full Senate to review a decision by the Bush Administration that exempts mercury emissions from power plants from the Clean Air Act.

The Clean Air Act requires the power plants to comply with emission reductions by 2008. But the Environmental Protection Agency recently moved to revoke this provision through its rule making authority.

Leahy is challenging this action. His proposal calls on the Senate Environment and Public Works committee to review the EPA ruling.

(Leahy) “The Bush Administration, under enormous pressure from some of the polluting industries, which also happen to be some of their biggest contributors, just did away with the rule. They did away with it. It’s going to allow more mercury into our environment. It’s one of the biggest power grabs by a special interest I’ve ever seen down here.”

Host) If the Senate panel fails to act, Leahy says he will bring the issue directly to the floor of the Senate.

(Leahy) “The Senate has, I believe, a duty to look at their revocation of the rule, put the rules back and make sure that these polluting industries have to follow the law.”

(Host) A bipartisan group of thirty-two senators is supporting Leahy’s plan.

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