Caving In

Obama Halts Clean Air Rules

President Obama announced Friday a halt to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to raise ozone standards for air pollution. There are claims that complying with the new regulation could have cost as much as $90 billion annually and resulted in more lost jobs, but the move also deals a further blow to the environmental movement’s efforts to cut chemicals that cause smog. The president cited concerns over the ruling’s potentially negative impact on businesses, having received letters from some 175 organizations asking that the pending standard be delayed. “I have continued to underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens…particularly as our economy continues to recover,” he said, before adding that “a new standard will soon be reconsidered.” Not surprisingly, Republicans in Congress cheered Obama’s decision.