(STATEHOUSE) Feb. 24, 2005 – Representative David Wolkins (R – Winona Lake) joined Governor Mitch Daniels, Senator Beverly Gard (R – Greenfield), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Acting Administrator, Steve Johnson, at a news conference today to build support for President Bush’s Clear Skies initiative which is currently before Congress.
Clear Skies is an initiative aimed at dramatically reducing nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and mercury emissions from coal-burning power plants. Nitrogen oxide emissions are responsible for creating smog while sulfur dioxide emissions create soot and acid rain. Mercury emissions have been linked to serious neurological health disorders.
“As Chairman of the House Environmental Affairs Committee, I am committed to forwarding legislation that improves the quality of the environment for Hoosiers. When the quality of the environment is improved, quality of life is improved,” said Rep. Wolkins.
The Clear Skies initiative sets long-term emission caps for power plants. According to the EPA, Indiana power plants would reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 69%, sulfur dioxide emissions by 37%, and mercury emissions by 59% by the year 2020. Along with improved air and water quality, reductions in these types of emissions have been linked to decreased incidence of respiratory and cardiovascular illness.
“If the Clear Skies initiative is enacted, Indiana would see a 60% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions by the year 2010. Improved air and water quality not only benefits Hoosiers, but also attracts other people and businesses to the state,” said Rep. Wolkins.