ECOLOGY: Losses--and Gains--for The Environment

The argument is often heard from high-powered lobbyists in Washington —and not in jest—that the best way to stay warm this winter would be to burn the environmental protection laws. Under those laws, particularly the Clean Air Act, new curbs were put on emissions from factories and power plants: cities were told to improve air quality; the automakers had to launch a $1 billion program to clean up auto exhausts. When the Arab oil embargo hit, lobbyists for the auto, oil, coal and other industries stepped up their drives to ease the laws, citing the need to save...

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