Friday, June 18, 2010

BP apologist Joe Barton does it again! Apologizes for polluters, pressures EPA on new smog standard

Yes, friends, Republican Congressman Joe Barton of Texas has been a busy guy – apologizing to BP, and then apologizing for his apology after House Republican leaders threatened to oust him from his post as top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

But Barton, once nicknamed “Smokey Joe” by the Dallas Morning News, also is apologizing for air polluters.

Indeed, Barton is trying to pressure the EPA to back away from setting tougher air pollution standards for smog.

Barton and his Texas Republican colleague Rep. Michael Burgess complained about the likely new smog standards in a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

You may recall the brief history: in 2008, the Bush EPA ignored the unanimous recommendations of the agency’s science advisers and set smog standards that were too weak. The Obama EPA is reconsidering that decision, and has proposed tougher requirements in line with the recommendations of the scientists. A final decision is due by late August.

We are at the point when key decisions on this issue start to get made. And so Barton has weighed in on the side of big polluters.

Barton complains in the letter that the new standards “appear to be extraordinarily expensive and unworkable.” (As if we are not paying a heavy price right now because of the health damage caused by smog!)

Barton wants EPA to ignore the science. We hope EPA will stick to its guns, and set science-based standards that protect people’s health.

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