INHOFE SAYS ATTORNEYS GENERAL MERCURY RULE LAWSUIT WILL DELAY CLEAN AIR PROGRESS

WASHINGTON, DC ñ Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee said today that a lawsuit filed yesterday against the Environmental Protection Agencyís (EPA) recently issued mercury rule by nine states attorneys general is a political move that will delay clean air progress, not help improve the environment. The rule is the first regulation to reduce mercury from power plants in the United States. ìThese attorney generals seem to be more concerned about making a political statement on mercury than cleaning up the environment,î Senator Inhofe said. ìWe would have welcomed them into the debate on Clear Skies legislation, which achieves steeper mercury cuts in the first phase of reductions, imposes 70 percent cuts in the second phase a full two years earlier, and mandates the creation of an EPA regulatory program to address concerns over mercury ëhot spotsí. If they had lent their assistance to that process, perhaps the Democratic Senators would not have obstructed the bill. Unfortunately for the American public, some would rather litigate clean air rules in court than make clean air progress in Congress. I still await the opponents of Clear Skies to come to the table with a legislative counter offer to the multiple proposals Senator Voinovich and I have offered the Committee.î