NRDC Television Ads Take Aim at Bush Efforts to Weaken Clean Air Rules

WASHINGTON (August 12, 2002) -- A television ad campaign sponsored by NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is urging citizens in six key states and the District of Columbia to keep President Bush from gutting the nation's clean air protections. The ads -- which began airing yesterday and will run for two weeks -- spotlight industry's influence in getting the Bush administration to weaken the laws that protect air quality.

"Big business wants to avoid accountability and regulation, and this administration is granting that wish," said Alys Campaigne, NRDC's legislative director. "Instead of cracking down on those violating clean air laws, President Bush wants to change the rules to let polluters off the hook."

Ads running in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New Hampshire urge viewers to call President Bush and voice opposition to his administration's plans to allow power plants and factories to pollute the air we breathe. Ads running in other places suggest calling specific legislators and asking them to stop the president's clean air rollbacks.

The ads are directed at key legislators in the following states:

  • Indiana -- Sens. Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Richard Lugar (R-IN)
  • Iowa (Ft. Dodge and Sioux City) -- Rep. Tom Latham (R-5th IA)
  • Iowa (Dubuque) -- Rep. Jim Nussle (R-2nd IA)
  • New Mexico -- Rep. Heather Wilson (R-1st NM)
  • North Dakota -- Sens. Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND)
  • Pennsylvania -- Rep. Mike Doyle (D-18th PA)

The media markets for the ads include:

  • Washington, D.C.
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Manchester, NH
  • Indianapolis, IN (including Bloomington)
  • Ft. Dodge (including Webster City), Sioux City and Dubuque, IA
  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Fargo-Grand Forks, ND (including West Fargo and Moorhead)
  • McKeesport, PA (including Mon Valley)

Bush Air Pollution Policies: A Threat to Health and Environment

The Bush administration recently announced sweeping new regulatory changes that would undermine key Clean Air Act protections by allowing dirty, older factories to dramatically increase their emissions without installing modern pollution controls. Under the law's New Source Review (NSR) provision, when a company builds or modifies a power plant, refinery, or manufacturing facility in a way that increases emissions significantly, the company must use modern pollution control equipment and demonstrate that the project will not harm air quality.

The eight changes to NSR rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency would circumvent or eliminate these public health safeguards. The new loopholes would let some of the nation's worst polluters increase their emissions at the expense of air quality and human health -- resulting in millions more tons of soot and smog spewed into our air each year. The EPA is expected to finalize the rule changes soon.

"The Bush administration has launched the most aggressive attack on the Clean Air Act in its 30-year history," added Campaigne. "It's now up to Congress to defend the American people's right to breathe clean air."

Ad Theme: Bush Puts Special Interests Before The Public Interest

NRDC (Television :30) "BIG BUSINESS KNOWS BEST" -- August 11, 2002

Scenes of Wall Street, trading floor and stock ticker, interspersed with a series of statements:

"Big business knows best"; "Big business can regulate itself"; "Let big business write its own rules."

Announcer: "This type of thinking sure hasn't worked to protect our retirement."

Scene of President Bush with backdrop reading "corporate responsibility," followed by image of a belching smokestacks.

Announcer: "Then what makes the Bush administration think that it's going to work to protect the air we breathe?"

Phone number appears, directing viewers to contact the president or particular members of Congress.

Announcer: "Urge [President Bush or legislator] not to let big business rewrite the laws that protect our air."

Image of NRDC's logo and Web site address.

Announcer: "Or visit nrdc dot org."

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has more than 500,000 members nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.