Was Obama’s delay of tighter ozone standards a “public rebuke” of EPA?
The New York Times reports in a front-page, above-the-fold article entitled,”Re-election Strategy Is Tied to a Shift on Smog“:
The summons from the president came without warning the Thursday before Labor Day. As she was driven the four blocks to the White House, Lisa P. Jackson, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, suspected that the news would not be good. What she did not see coming was a rare public rebuke the president was about to deliver by rejecting her proposal to tighten the national standard for smog…
The White House announced the decision the next morning, infuriating environmental and public health advocates. They called it a bald surrender to business pressure, an act of political pandering and, most galling, a cold-blooded betrayal of a loyal constituency.
“This was the worst thing a Democratic president had ever done on our issues,” said Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters. “Period.”
If this article is an effort to justify the decision to the greens, it’s a waste of effort.
First, contrary to Karpinksi’s assertion, no president has done more for the greens than Obama. No president has allowed the EPA to run more amok than Obama.
Regardless of the smog decision, the greens will turn out in large numbers for Obama next November. Not only do they have nowhere else to go, but any Republican president represents a genuine threat to the EPA-tail wagging America’s dog of an economy.
Finally, the decision was not a rebuke — it was just a “not now”. If Obama is re-elected, the EPA will tighten the smog standard to an even greater degree in 2013.