Just a quick update. Many of you are probably aware of these developments. There are three:
1) Senator Inhofe has actually introduced his proposed legislation, which would permit EPA to suspend environmental requirements for lengthy periods of time. It is an open invitation for special interests to pressure EPA to give breaks from health and environmental standards.
2) EPA has done a political flip-flop. After EPA Administrator Steve Johnson said earlier this week that he did not need additional authority, the agency put out a statement late this afternoon saying it welcomed the Inhofe initiative. This EPA flip-flop is a vivid demonstration of the basic problem here: the agency will come under extreme political pressure to grant waivers even as it was obviously pressured here to change its tune.
3) Some industries already smell blood. As Reuters reported a short while ago, the chemical industry is already clamoring for relaxations of clean air requirements so the power industry can burn more coal without appropriate pollution controls.