President Obama has proposed a new draft air pollution rule that “business groups charge could be the costliest regulation of all time — setting up a test of how hard the president will fight for his environmental agenda against a newly strengthened GOP.” Politico,
President Barack Obama has already blinked once on the rule, which aims to limit smog-creating ozone pollution after 2020 from power plants and factories: Just before Labor Day in 2011, he forced the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw an almost-final version of the rule, infuriating green groups that accused him of capitulating to industry pressure to ease his reelection. Obama said he was acting to “underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty.”
Now, facing a court order to issue a new proposal by next week, EPA has just issued a rule essentially as strong as the one the White House squelched three years ago — though not quite as strict as many environmental groups are calling for. It would lower the amount of ground-level ozone pollution that is considered healthy to breathe, which in turn could lead to costly new requirements for air pollution permits in much of the country.