Clean air assault

Clean air assault


Aghast by the sulfurous yellow cloud that wafts from Brayton Point Power Station some days? Alarmed by news that this coal-fired power plant that has been described as New England’s worst air polluter, that its mercury emissions are New England’s fourth highest?

Learn to live with it.

If some in Washington get their way, such environmental bad behavior will be rewarded.

Under the pretense of saving money, the House majority is pushing a spending plan whose many targets include the federal Environmental Protection Agency where the budget would be slashed by perhaps 17 percent to 1990s levels. The President’s budget proposes a 2.1 percent cut.

Match that with a persistent House push that aims to diminish clean air standards and their ability to target toxic pollutants, mercury among them, and clean air prospects grow even more murky. Some go further still, seeking to forbid the EPA from efforts to reduce carbon emissions — global warming, after all, being a myth that is better off ignored.

Were this some third-world country, poverty, desperation and primitive technology might explain, though not justify, allowing industry to poison the air and water.

We have no such excuse.

What this environmental assault in the guise of budget balancing really does is set the clock back to a grimier era. It  dooms us to decades more of breathing foul air and to the catastrophic consequences of doing nothing while the ice caps melt.

And rather than stimulate our economy, as its advocates pretend, such thinking reduces us to spectators while other countries reap the benefits that will come from providing the green technologies that lead the world into the next era.

Our own skyline tells two tales. Wind turbines in Portsmouth, Providence and Westport and a clean-burning gas-fired power plant in Tiverton suggest progress made toward a brighter, more prosperous future.

But it is that head-of-the-bay dinosaur at Montaup that best symbolizes where the House majority would take us — back to a grimy era when nobody knew better.


  1. This editorial is factually incorrect. The Montaup power station that is referred to as the “dinosaur” has actually been closed for a few years and is being dismantled. If the editor is strictly addressing the Dominion Power’s Brayton Point Station South of the Braga Bridge referred to at the opening of the article, that is a totally different site. They have spent untold millions on compliance to water and air regulations over the past several years. Was this article written 10 years ago and republished by mistake or there simply mistakes in the article?
    Similarly, months ago, in an article dealing with electric company policies, the editor cites Eastern Utilities, a company that has been gone since 2000.