Wednesday, June 28, 2006

HBO's Real Sports Examines Air Pollution & Asthma

Although we are glad that Time Warner-owned HBO spent considerable air time on air pollution and asthma on Bryant Gumbel's Real Sports program, it appeared to be out to paint the Bush Administration as intentionally causing asthma in children. We do not think this characterization is fair. The show did a very good job of describing the EPA New Source Review (NSR) program. They even enlisted former EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman to state that weakening NSR was one of the reasons she left the agency. However, NSR was never effective and in its original form would never lead to anything but litigation. For that reason it is useless in reducing air pollution.

Unfortunately, the show did not delve too deeply into the cap and trade programs favored by the administration, which everyone agrees worked in the EPA Acid Rain Program to reduce sulfur dioxide from power plants. The program failed to mention that the Energy Policy Act of 2005 is the best piece of clean air legislation enacted since the original Clean Air Act because it aggressively promotes emission free nuclear power, wind and hybrid vehicles. It did not mention the administration's aggressive support for hydrogen production for fuel cells. So although the show was quite informative, it was somewhat biased. Of course, Dan Rather and Bryant Gumbel are cut from the same political cloth.

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