Saturday, September 3, 2011

Obama Overrules EPA, Bows To Polluters

In a move that cheers industry polluters and Republicans and frustrates environmental and liberal groups, President Obama has decided not to upgrade air quality standards. The president cited the cost to jobs, a contention that studies show is subject to question. Instead, inadequate Bush-era standards will remain in place, at a terrible risk to public health. The administration counsels waiting until a 2013 review–assuming the president is re-elected. One factor it should consider is public support for environmental protection. In the meanwhile, this abandonment follows other administration anti-environmental moves:

President Obama abandoned a contentious new air pollution rule on Friday, buoying business interests that had lobbied heavily against it, angering environmentalists who called the move a betrayal and unnerving his own top environmental regulators.

The president rejected a proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency that would have significantly reduced emissions of smog-causing chemicals, saying that it would impose too severe a burden on industry and local governments at a time of economic distress.

Business groups and Republicans in Congress had complained that meeting the new standard, which governs emissions of so-called ground-level ozone, would cost billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs.

...The administration will try to follow the more lenient Bush administration standard set in 2008 until a scheduled reconsideration of acceptable pollution limits in 2013...

...Reaction from environmental advocates ranged from disappointment to fury, with several noting that in just the past month the administration had tentatively approved drilling in the Arctic, given an environmental green light to the 1,700-mile Keystone XL oil pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to Texas and opened 20 million more acres of the Gulf of Mexico to drilling.

Daniel J. Weiss, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, said, “Today’s announcement from the White House that they will retreat from implementing the much-needed — and long-overdue — ozone pollution standard is deeply disappointing and grants an item on Big Oil’s wish list at the expense of the health of children, seniors and the infirm.” The center is a liberal research group with close ties to the White House.

Bill McKibben, an activist leading a two-week White House protest against the pipeline project which has resulted in more than 1,000 arrests, said that the latest move was “flabbergasting.”

“Somehow we need to get back the president we thought we elected in 2008,” he said.


Michael The Molar Maven said...

Where have all the backbones gone? "Oh when will they ever learn; when will they ever learn." Once again we have a prime example of a democrat running away from his or her convicitions for fear that they are unpolpular with those who are moved by sound bite politics instead of learning to communicate on a broader level. President Obama is afraid that his political opponents will be successful in labeling him some sort of knee-jerk liberal whose policies will eventually cost average Americans more money when American business has to raise its prices to comply with environmental regulations: "You don't want to pay more money, do you? Well, that guy in the White House is going to force you to pay more money. We republicans won't allow that and with your help we will vote him out!" My davice: President Obama, please, for the good of us all, please regain the confidence of your convictions. Ultimately you will be proven correct.

Jeff Tone said...

Michael: Seems like President Obama lost the confidence of his convictions a while ago. He alienates his base and gets no credit from those to whom he caves. He needs more of the spirit of Truman and FDR.