"Today is Earth Day and millions of Americans will celebrate by doing something to improve the environment -- cleaning up trash in a local park, planting a tree, or making their home more energy efficient. Meanwhile, the Bush administration will celebrate Earth Day by inviting oil-industry officials to the Environmental Protection Agency (Wall Street Journal sub. only) to discuss a plan to relax pollution standards for gasoline. The plan would allow higher sulfur content gasoline to be sold during the summer months. According to Frank O'Donnell of Clean Air Trust 'because sulfur is a prime contributor to both urban smog and soot, it could also result in an increase in health problems.' That is a large price to pay for a plan that would only temporarily 'trim oil prices by as much as a nickel a gallon' -- and not necessarily in all markets."
The administration is also pushing to exempt the Defense Department from "the Clean Air Act and from hazardous waste laws at thousands of firing and bombing ranges nationwide."
Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.