Alexander, Carper Push For Cleaner Air

Nashville (AP) -- Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander says he and Delaware Senator Tom Carper plan to reintroduce a bill that would mandate less air pollution.

The measure would also for the first time cap carbon emissions, a cause of global warming.

Republican Alexander is newly appointed to the Environment and Public Works Committee. Democrat Carper is also a committee member and is the incoming Chairman of the Clean Air Subcommittee.

The Clean Air Planning Act would go further and faster than the Bush Administration's measure to control sulfur, nitrogen and mercury smokestack emissions. Much of those come from coal-fired power plants.

Among provisions of the bill would be the first-ever national cap on carbon dioxide. It would freeze the limit at today's levels in 2010 and mandate reducing them to 2001 levels by 2015.

Alexander says he has also suggested to Governor Bredesen that the state put into place stricter mercury rules than the federal government has. The Senator says people are just now understanding the damage mercury can cause.

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