The Clean Air Act of 1970 has been consistently used by President Obama to shape his environmental policies. In his latest effort, he will revisit the act to design more laws to reduce ozone pollution.
The Clean Air Act was first enacted in 1970 by President, Richard M. Nixon. It was later updated by another President, George H.W. Bush in 1990. President Obama has used the act in the past to help maintain cleaner air, by reducing greenhouse emissions and seek much-improved vehicle mileage. But in his new attempt he has attracted many critics, mostly Republicans.
The Republicans are opposing the President’s plans, saying the cost of meeting the new standards will be a burden on the businesses. This is opposite to the demands of the environmentalists who wanted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to impose even tougher and more stringent standards.
The EPA calculated that its new standards would cost industries across America about $4billion a year. But the measures if followed properly wouldn’t need to last for many years. But if the stricter limits are rejected, then the costs of the damages would be higher. In return, the EPA also estimates that its new standards will save a lot, by reducing health care spending.
The industries and businessmen have deemed this new law unfair. They believe that even though the benefits will be shared by everyone, the costs will only fall on coal-fired plants. Coal is already in steep decline because of the previous clean air rules. The low pricing of natural gas has added to that burden.
More and more people are shifting from coal towards the use of cleaner burning natural gas. Some are even turning towards solar and wind power energies. These clean air laws are bad news to coal fields, but people investing in solar energies will benefit hugely. For example, Buffalo, which will soon be the home to a huge solar panel factory, will have its economy massively boosted.
As long as Obama is the President he holds a veto and the new Congress can’t pass any laws overturning the ozone rules. The Supreme Court could be an option for the critics, but so far the country’s highest court has mostly favored the EPA. Experts are praising the President for thinking about the citizen’s and environment’s future.