In a win for small businesses, EPA’s smog restrictions are currently on hold.
On Friday, President Obama pulled back proposed smog standards that would have forced states and communities nationwide to reduce local air pollution or face federal penalties, the Washington Post reported.
GOP lawmakers called the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) restrictions for ground-level ozone, along with other air pollution regulations as “job-destroying.” Members of the business community also launched a public relations war against the rules, calling for the proposed standards to be delayed due to the economic downturn.
The decision followed dismal employment numbers released Friday morning. Environmentalists reacted harshly to the decisions, and MoveOn.org responded with a statement questioning why its members should work for the president’s reelection, the Washington Post reported.
In a statement, Obama noted he had asked EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw the draft standards because they were scheduled to be reconsidered in two years. “I have continued to underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover,” Obama said. “Ultimately, I did not support asking state and local governments to begin implementing a new standard that will soon be reconsidered.”
Obama’s decision is favorable for retailers. “The proposed regulation would have resulted in a significant increase in the number of counties found in serious, severe or extreme non-attainment with ozone standards. Such a designation triggers mandatory Stage 2 vapor recovery requirements for retailers,” John Eichberger, NACS vice president of government relations, told NACS Daily. “Further, it would likely trigger additional controls on refined products, potentially resulting in reduced supply and increased cost of production, neither of which benefits retailers or consumers at the pump. The president’s decision to follow the review schedule set forth in the Clean Air Act rather than short-cutting the process will give regions time to implement the last round of revisions and ensure that science is based upon real-world data.”