Obama Dumps New Smog Rules

He says standard will change anyway in 2013
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2011 11:28 AM CDT
President Obama Dumps New Smog Rules in Surprise Win for Businesses
This Tuesday, July 15, 2003 file photo shows the Los Angeles skyline being obscured by a heavy layer of smog and fog .   (AP Photo/Jerome T. Nakagawa, file)

Barack Obama handed the business community a surprise win today by asking the Environmental Protection Agency to scrap new smog standards that would force state and local government to improve air quality or risk losing federal funds, the Washington Post reports. "Work is already underway to update … the ozone standard in 2013," Obama explained. "Ultimately, I did not support asking state and local governments to begin implementing a new standard that will soon be reconsidered."

The smog standard is usually reviewed every five years, but EPA administrator Lisa Jackson had pushed for an early review because the standard set by the Bush administration in 2008 was significantly higher than what EPA scientists recommended. Business groups have fought the review, while environmentalists instantly decried Obama’s change of heart—one member of a liberal think tank accused him of "siding with big oil over the health of children, seniors, and the infirm." (Read more Obama administration stories.)

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