Forecast: Clearer Skies

The revised Clean Air Act is costly but well worth the price

No sensible American wants to breathe pollution, but that has not made it easy to figure out how to pay to clear the nation's air. It took more than a decade of often bitter debate among environmentalists, industry representatives, scientists and economists before House and Senate conferees finally agreed last week on sweeping changes in the Clean Air Act, the first major revision in the landmark law since 1977. After all the lobbying and deal making, the bill that emerged is surprisingly strong. Expected to be approved by President Bush early in November, it offers no quick fix for the nation's...

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