You have yourself, in the past and predictably in the future, seen nothing wrong with a congressional committee demanding records from various agencies and groups. You have also whined about "studies" results that you didn't like based on their funding sources--the stated reason for the demand for records.

Why then and not now? What, in your mind, is the actual difference when a Republican controlled committee does it and when a Democratic committee does it?

Your insipid and specious comment regarding the Clear Skies initiative completely disregards the facts of the issue and indicates how very little you have bothered actually familiarizing yourself regarding the specifics of the initiative. You rely too much on others (op-ed editorialists) to do your thinking for you (not a sound idea even for an EXTREMELY BUSY man). Parroting is not familiarizing.

Here is your chance to actually familiarize yourself and you are welcome to check the facts as they are freely and readily available. You really should read it as you are one of the "drawn critics" referred to.

Clear Skies, No Lies

Critics both real and drawn assert that the program, which is called Clear Skies and is scheduled to be voted on by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today, is a shocking assault on clean-air law, an insidious weakening of environmental protections wrapped up with an Orwellian label. These criticisms are off target, except it is true that Clear Skies is a really dumb name.
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So, under the Bush plan - supposedly a sellout to industry - sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, the two power-plant emissions of most concern to public health, would be nearly eliminated as compared with levels in 1970. Clear Skies would also moot the long-running controversy over the "new source review" rule, which may require operators of the old power plants in the Midwest to add pollution controls when those plants are modified. Those plants too would have to participate in the 70 percent overall reduction, a deeper cut than required by any interpretation of the "new source" standard.

Opponents of Clear Skies rightly note that existing Clean Air Act language already mandates somewhat greater reductions than the Bush plan - for instance, a 93 percent cut in sulfur dioxide from the levels in 1970, versus Clear Skies' 90 percent - and that the reductions must be complete by 2012, rather than by 2018 as in Mr. Bush's bill. But here's the rub: the existing Clean Air Act, though successful, is a complex set of rules that requires a case-by-case drawing up of plans for states, localities and even individual power plants. A raft of lawsuits often accompanies every Clean Air Act regulation - it is common for both industry and environmental organizations to sue to block the same set of rules. This is why, on average, it takes about a decade to complete a Clean Air Act rulemaking.

The Clear Skies plan would replace that case-by-case system with a streamlined "cap and trade" approach. This plan simply sets an overall reduction for the power industry as a whole, then leaves it up to companies and plant managers to decide for themselves how to meet the mandates, including by trading permits to one another.