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Obama withdraws smog regulation, overruling EPA

By Kase Wickman
Friday, September 2, 2011 13:17 EDT
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President Barack Obama Friday announced that he would overrule the Environmental Protection Agency’s controversial anti-smog regulations. Business leaders and Republicans had voiced strong objections to the new smog standards, and they count Obama’s decision as a victory.

Obama cited a desire to avoid costly regulations as his reason for telling EPA Director Lisa Jackson to withdraw the smog rule.

Depending on how strict the standards were, the new smog rules were estimated to cost between $19 billion and $90 billion, according to Forbes.

“I want to be clear: my commitment and the commitment of my administration to protecting public health and the environment is unwavering,” Obama said in a statement sent by the White House. “I will continue to stand with the hardworking men and women at the EPA as they strive every day to hold polluters accountable and protect our families from harmful pollution.”

The rule will be reconsidered in 2013, Obama said, and it was pointless to pay for regulations that would be so soon up for redrafting.

Last week, Obama was chided by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) for the number of governmental regulations under consideration as well as the amount of regulations with costs exceeding $1 billion.

“A search of this year’s information, posted online in recent days, reveals that the Obama Administration’s job-crushing regulatory barrage is not being scaled back, but rather expanded, appearing to contradict White House rhetoric this week about President Obama’s intent to reduce the regulatory burden on job creators,” Boehner wrote in a blog post.

In his own response this week, Obama outlined “a number of steps” his administration had taken to relieve regulatory burdens and streamline the bureaucratic process.

Friday, the White House posted a blog post by Heather Zichal, deputy assistant to the president for energy and climate change, outlining the ways Obama has achieved “Cleaner Air and a Stronger Economy — A Record of Success,” as the post is titled.

The announcement that Obama was ordering the EPA to withdraw their drafted proposal came on the heels of the monthly jobs report, which showed that no new jobs had been added in August.

“The Obama administration is caving to big polluters at the expense of protecting the air we breathe,” Gene Karpinski, the president of the League of Conservation Voters, told Forbes. “This is a huge win for corporate polluters and huge loss for public health.”

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
 
 
 
 
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