If You Can’t Get It In Through the Front Door…

Try sneaking it in the back, of course. That seems to be the tactic of some of our Congressfolk who planted “a brief provision that could have major consequences for communities struggling to clean up their dirty air” deep in the bowels of the newly approved energy bill.

If it becomes law, [the provision] would make one of the most significant changes to the Clean Air Act in 15 years, allowing communities whose air pollution comes from hundreds of miles away to delay meeting national air quality standards until their offending neighbors clean up their own air.

The provision could especially affect states like New York, which has some of the nation’s dirtiest air, and other Northeastern states that have always had difficulty meeting federal standards for ozone, a leading cause of smog, because much of any state’s pollution originates in states to the south and west.

Under the new provision, the “downwind” states would not be required to meet clean air standards until the “upwind” states that were contributing to the problem had done so. Currently, states can get more time but only if they agree to added cleanup measures.

As you might guess, the proponents of this boondoogle are promoting it as a means of creating “flexibility and discretion” for state and local governments. Translation: they’re free to f*#k over the common folk if the polluters pay them off well enough… From the New York Times via ClimateArk.

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