President Barack Obama has asked EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw the agency’s proposed toughened ozone standards, citing “the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover.” The President’s statement and EPA’s are below.
So this is a hugely important victory for American workers and the economy, as well as those of us who have been fighting the EPA’s proposed ozone standards.
In a separate statement, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson says the agency will “revisit” the ozone standard. But that won’t occur until at least 2013 — when, with any luck, she will be able to revisit it from an unemployment line.
President Obama’s statement:
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release September 02, 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 From reducing mercury and other toxic air pollution from outdated power plants to doubling the fuel efficiency of our cars and trucks, the historic steps we’ve taken will save tens of thousands of lives each year, remove over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.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s statement:
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.