What Price Clean Air?
Clean air v. industry profits and the White House.
National Emmy finalist, investigative documentaries.
Written, directed and produced by Robert Richter.
A hard-hitting investigative documentary of industry efforts, in cooperation with then Republican controlled U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to weaken the Clean Air Act.
The film exposed the phony claims of concern for protecting the environment by the Reagan administration, the same kind of hypocritical line fed to the media and the public by the Bush White House. It was not long after telecast of this documentary that the head of EPA of that era resigned.
Without permission, the Edison Electric Institute—the trade association for the electric power industry—re-edited the documentary with their own spokesman intermittently inserting their point of view.
"What Price Clean Air?" was all over public TV as a nationally telecast primetime special. Edison Electric Institute's was privately distributed for their own ego gratification in a few board rooms and to justify paying their PR people.
Our documentary showed how the EPA was in league with the coal, steel and auto industries in a drive to weaken the Clean Air Act. Their unauthorized version showed how desperate they were to try to put their own spin on the issue.
Included in the film are industry and government advocates, air pollution victims and scientists trying to cope with acid rain. Filmed in the Pittsburgh PA area, Los Angeles, Japan, Sweden, Canada and England.
Study Areas: Environmental studies, social and political history, public health, economics, air pollution