Storm clouds scrubbed George Bush’s plans for a “Clear Skies” Earth Day speech at Cades Cove in the Smokies.
Bush would have been the first sitting President to visit the Smokies since Franklin Roosevelt dedicated it in 1940.
He gave his speech at Knoxville’s Airport (McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base)
Media attention was directed about his support for a “Clear Skies” bill which he says he says would set rules reducing nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and mercury from power plant smokestacks, but allow businesses to trade pollution credits and thus is controversial among conservationists. The bill is stalled in the Senate.
The hail and thunder storm that hit the Smokies had broken an early season ozone alert for the park.
President Bush also outlined a 5-year, $4.9 Billion plan for backlog maintenance at national parks.
Bush had planned to help with trail work to support the volunteers in the Smokies and promote a website for volunteerism usafreedomcorps.gov
I don’t know if you realize this, in this part of the world, but there are 2,000 volunteers who work in the Smokies. Doesn’t surprise me, after all, this is the Volunteer State.
Official White House Page on the Visit
The White House photo above is of Barney at Andrews Air Force Base before the flight. The webpage has pictures from Tennessee.