AbstractIn their recent book, Struggling for Air, Ricky Revesz and Jack Lienke argue that the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1970 contained a "tragic flaw": the failure to require national emissions standards for existing coal-fired power plants. They blame this flaw on a "missing of the mark," primarily by Senator Edmund Muskie, the chief Senate sponsor of the 1970 Amendments. I suggest instead that the technological and political context of the 1970 Amendments explains why the flaw exists, and that the failure to include national standards for coal-fired power plants is an error that can be seen only in retrospect.
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