By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 15A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers threw down the gauntlet to President Bush today, introducing legislation to cut carbon dioxide pollution. Bush had originally promised to curb the greenhouse gases emitted by power companies, but under pressure from the oil industry he backtracked on that position earlier this week.
Representatives Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) announced the introduction of the Clean Smokestacks Act of 2001, while senators Jim Jeffords (R-Vt.), Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced the introduction of the Senate companion bill, the Clean Power Act of 2001.
The legislation will go before New Hampshire senator Bob Smith's Environment and Public Works Committee. Smith is sponsoring a pro-pollution bill, and Bush will get someone to introduce his version of a pro-pollution statute. While the committee is dominated by conservatives, Joe Lieberman also sits on it, along with ranking minority member Harry Reid from Nevada. On the Republican side Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island is thought to be relatively moderate.
In addition to calling for stiff reductions in carbon dioxide, the law would mandate cuts in smog, acid rain, sulfur dioxide, and mercury.