SI Vault
Edited by Craig Neff
June 19, 1989
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June 19, 1989


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On Monday, George Bush finally took a decisive stride toward defining his administration's stance on the environment. On the crucial issue of air quality, he aligned himself with those who say cleaner air is vital and against those who claim that the cleanup—which the EPA estimates will cost $14 billion to $19 billion annually—is too expensive.

Bush said that "over the last decade we have not come far enough" in cutting air pollution. He's right. The Clean Air Act has not been amended in 12 years. Bush's predecessor, Ronald Reagan, stalled efforts to update the landmark 1970 antipollution law. Heeding the recommendations of EPA administrator William Reilly, Bush will send to Congress proposals including the following:

?A 10-million-ton yearly reduction in acid-rain-causing sulfur dioxide emissions from power plants, which currently spew 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide a year, by the year 2000.

?An order for Detroit to start manufacturing one million methanol- or ethanol-fueled cars a year by 1996. As part of his plan to reduce urban smog, the President also wants 40% tighter limits on tail-pipe emissions.

?The use of the "best available" control technology by U.S. industry to reduce the annual emission of 2.7 million pounds of toxic chemicals, many of which are carcinogenic.

Some environmentalists wanted Bush to call for more. Environmental organizations have asked for specific limits on toxic-chemical emissions, and some hoped for an annual maximum of eight million tons on sulfur dioxide. But others in industry and government wanted Bush to propose far less. They've lost this round.

After Easy Goer's impressive Belmont victory last Saturday, a vendor trying to unload a pile of suddenly devalued Sunday Silence Triple Crown T-shirts was heard shouting at departing spectators, "Two out of three ain't bad!"


Moving is said to be one of life's most traumatic experiences. Let us marvel, then, at the health and happiness of Baltimore Oriole first base coach Johnny Oates, who has moved more than 50 times—he has lost exact count—in his 23 years in professional baseball. "At school the teacher asks about the San Diego Zoo, and one of my kids will say, 'I've been there,' " says Oates, a former catcher. "[The teacher] asks about the Statue of Liberty, and my kid says, 'I've been there.' Disneyland? 'I've been there.' "

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