View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Monday, February 02, 2004

Bush Backs Down On Environment

I'm not sure most of these reversals are really that big a deal, but then they should have been defensible in the first place. It looks like the administration is holding the line on the most important common-sense revisions.

The New Source Review enforcement rules Sen. Edwards is so enamored of are probably the worst way to handle place emissions - effectively preventing improvements to old plants while drastically cutting emissions. Emissions permit-trading markets haved worked before, and there's no reason they shouldn't work now. If the administration decides not to make the case for them, they may never get implemented.

Fortunately, it looks like the Kyoto withdrawal has worked, giving sensible critics time to make their case against that misguided treaty. As more and more of the world admits it won't even try to make their targets, that treaty looks more and more dead. Still, never underestimate the "environmental" lobby's ability to turn a hot day (or in Al Gore's case, a record-cold day) into a case for more regulation.

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