Home > Uncategorized > Obama Withdraws EPA’s Proposed Ozone Standard – Lisa Jackson Bends Over and Says Thank You

Obama Withdraws EPA’s Proposed Ozone Standard – Lisa Jackson Bends Over and Says Thank You

More hospitalizations for our kids, more preventable deaths, and disparate impacts in urban and minority communities

[Important Updates below - Obama Clean Air Standard WEAKER than Bush! Rollback to 1997 Standard for another decade.]

[Update 5 – 9/3/11 – I knew that bastard Cass Sunstein had his fingerprints on this (read his letter to Lisa Jackson).

Sunstein is aggressively legitimizing the Big Lie that “regulatory uncertainty” and “regulatory burdens” are why corporate America is sitting on trillions of dollars of cash and paying CEO’s billion in bonuses, instead of investing in US jobs (recall Sunstein’s role in gutting EPA coal ash rules, an abuse we talked about at the outset of the Obama Administration and compared to NJ “Red Tape Czar” Guadagno )

The AP story smoked him out:

Cass Sunstein, the head of the White House regulatory office, said changing the smog regulation now, only to have it be reconsidered again in two years, would create unnecessary uncertainty for the private sector and local governments.

[Update 6 – 9/3/11 - Here it is, clear as day  ”The Big Lie“ NY Times version:

Republicans in Congress and on the campaign trail have harshly criticized a number of the administration’s environmental and health regulations, which they say are depressing hiring and forcing the export of jobs.

Now be a good little Goebbels and Repeat: forcing the export of jobs “ forcing the export of jobs“ forcing the export of jobs! – end update.]

Caving in to the polluters and sham economic arguments about “regulatory burdens”, President Obama just withdrew EPA’s proposed new ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (part of a troubling pattern of unprincipled concessions  - and full retreat – we predicted at the outset of the Administration).

The move contradicts the overwhelming science that proves serious respiratory threats from current ozone levels, the need for a lower and more protective standard, and the regulatory impact analysis of large net economic benefits of the standard associated with avoided public health and environmental costs.

Read it and weep:

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 2, 2011

Statement by the President on the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards

Over the last two and half years, my administration, under the leadership of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, has taken some of the strongest actions since the enactment of the Clean Air Act four decades ago to protect our environment and the health of our families from air pollution. From reducing mercury and other toxic air pollution from outdated power plants to doubling the fuel efficiency of our cars and trucks, the historic steps we’ve taken will save tens of thousands of lives each year, remove over a billion tons of pollution from our air, and produce hundreds of billions of dollars in benefits for the American people.

At the same time, I have continued to underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover.  With that in mind, and after careful consideration, I have requested that Administrator Jackson withdraw the draft Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards at this time. Work is already underway to update a 2006 review of the science that will result in the reconsideration of the ozone standard in 2013.  Ultimately, I did not support asking state and local governments to begin implementing a new standard that will soon be reconsidered.

I want to be clear: my commitment and the commitment of my administration to protecting public health and the environment is unwavering. 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.  And my administration will continue to vigorously oppose efforts to weaken EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act or dismantle the progress we have made.

On July 26, 2011, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson vowed that she was “fully committed” to the proposal.

However, just as she did in NJ as DEP Commissioner, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson – who we criticized as a “pliant bureaucrat” - proved ineffective in defending the science,  independence, and integrity of EPA.

Jackson not only went along with but saluted the President’s atrocious political cave.

CONTACT:
EPA Press Office (News Media Only)
press@epa.gov
202-564-4355

FOR IMMEDIATE RELASE (sic)
September 2, 2011


Statement by EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson on the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards

Since day one, under President Obama’s leadership, EPA has worked to ensure health protections for the American people, and has made tremendous progress to ensure that Clean Air Act standards protect all Americans by reducing our exposures to harmful air pollution like mercury, arsenic and carbon dioxide.  This Administration has put in place some of the most important standards and safeguards for clean air in U.S. history: the most significant reduction of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide air pollution across state borders; a long-overdue proposal to finally cut mercury pollution from power plants; and the first-ever carbon pollution standards for cars and trucks.  We will revisit the ozone standard, in compliance with the Clean Air Act.

And the State Department just green lighted the Keystone XL pipeline for Alberta tar sands.

(Gee, I wonder what it would take for Jackson to resign? Bambi sacrifice on the White House lawn? OMB Seal Clubbing in the Potomac? Cass Sunstein on The Daily Show?)

We condemn the President and Administrator Jackson’s craven cowardice, sell out of public health and environmental justice, and politicization of EPA science.

[Update: here is Washington Post story:  Obama pulls back proposed smog standards in victory for business

[Update #2 – wonder how this will play in NJ media circles? Will NJ enviro’s and press criticize Obama and Jackson? Will they protect Jackson? We’ll let you know.

But, I gotta say, I found the timing of  NJ Spotlight’s coverage today of a Christie walk away on clean air a bit suspect. Was that story marketed to divert from Obama’s far more egregious cave?

[Update 3 – it is playing like betrayal at the national level.

Did the White House double-cross its supporters on the smog rule?

“To add a bit to this, though, it’s worth taking a closer look at why environmentalists and clean-air advocates are so furious right now. Groups that have been lobbying for the long-delayed ozone update say they were essentially betrayed by the Obama administration, which, back in 2009, had fended off a lawsuit over Bush-era ozone rules by promising to issue tougher new standards. That, obviously, isn’t going to happen now. What’s more, critics note, the White House’s stated reasons for yanking the rules make no sense at all. Do they have a point? “

Imagine that – Obama and Lisa Jackson betrayed environmentalists! Where have I heard that before?

And, perhaps worst of all, Obama obfuscates, dodges accountability and puts out a dishonest cover story with this totally misleading excuse, blaming his cave on supposed 2013 reconsideration:

Work is already underway to update a 2006 review of the science that will result in the reconsideration of the ozone standard in 2013. Ultimately, I did not support asking state and local governments to begin implementing a new standard that will soon be reconsidered.

[Update 4 -I don’t think people will understand just how bad this decision is.

It not only fails to move forward and make EPA’s 2010 proposed 60-70 ppb standards stronger from Bush 2006 75 ppb.

It reverses the direction of standards, making them weaker.

It basically, it puts off new ozone standards until at least 2016. It results in keeping 1997 standard in effect.

That means that the 1997 84 ppb ozone standard will govern – until 2016 (and likely much later, as the new 2016 standard is phased in in state implementation plans).

You have to get into the regulatory weeds:

But critics say that this reasoning is flawed. For one, notes Amy Royden-Bloom of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, if the EPA did issue a new ozone standard this year, then it could always just postpone its next scientific review until 2016, in line with the law. Second, notes Frank O’Donnell of Clean Air Watch, there’s no reason to think that a brand-new ozone standard will actually be issued by 2013. That’s just when the scientific review is due. Crafting new rules will take longer than that, given the inevitable delays and lawsuits. I’d say three years, minimum, says O’Donnell. (When I asked White House officials about this, they said they weren’t sure how long it would take.) And third, says Paul Billings of the ALA, it’s not clear that the science on ozone and human health will change dramatically between now and 2013 ” if anything, the case for regulating ozone is likely to get stronger.

So what happens now? Right now, most states are still operating under the old 1997 standards. The EPA had earlier directed states not to follow the (somewhat stricter) 2008 Bush standards, because it was working on even tighter rules. But now those tighter rules aren’t happening. As Bill Becker of the National Association of Clean Ar Agencies told me, the EPA now has the option of directing states to follow the Bush-era rules, but that seems unlikely, given the White House’s preference to wait until the 2013 review. Which means states would keep operating under the old 1997 standards, which are more lax than even what the Bush administration had proposed. “We would have stricter protections right now if we had just followed the Bush-era rules back in 2008,” says Becker.

[Update 5 – 9/3/11 – I knew that bastard Cass Sunstein had his fingerprints on this.

Sunstein is aggressively legitimizing the Big Lie that “regulatory uncertainty” and “regulatory burden” are why corporate America is sitting on trillions of dollars of cash and paying CEO’s billion in bonuses, instead of investing in US jobs (recall Sunstein’s role in gutting EPA coal ash rules, an abuse we talked about at the outset of the Obama Administration and compared to NJ “Red Tape” Czar Guadagno )

The AP story smoked him out:

Cass Sunstein, the head of the White House regulatory office, said changing the smog regulation now, only to have it be reconsidered again in two years, would create unnecessary uncertainty for the private sector and local governments.

[Update 6 – 9/3/11 - Here it is, clear as day – The Big Lie – NY Times version:

Republicans in Congress and on the campaign trail have harshly criticized a number of the administration’s environmental and health regulations, which they say are depressing hiring and forcing the export of jobs.

Now be a good little Goebbels and Repeat: forcing the export of jobs – forcing the export of jobs – forcing the export of jobs!

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
You must be logged in to post a comment.