Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Oil industry launches all-out assault on tougher smog standard

Well, the timing seems a trifle off, given quite a few states are facing “Code Red” or “Code Orange” smog alerts today.

But we do have to report that the oil industry (and its obvious front group called America’s Energy Forum) is taking a break from agitating for resumed oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and humping dirty Canadian oil sands in order to agitate against the U.S. EPA’s plans to update national clean air standards for ozone, or smog.

In fact, if you look at the astro-turf America’s Energy Forum, you get the impression that the industry has launched an all-out assault against the EPA – and in favor of dirty air.

This industry-generated propaganda is based on distortion and flat-out lies. Consider this:

OILY FICTION: “this action lacks scientific justification and there is absolutely no basis for EPA to propose changing the ozone standards promulgated by the EPA Administrator just two years ago.”

THE TRUTH: EPA has proposed exactly what its independent science advisers have recommended. The “standards promulgated by the EPA Administrator just two years ago” (that would be in the oil-friendly Bush era) were based on politics, not science. The Bush administration ignored the science and the advice of the science advisers.

The science advisers made this recommendation because of clear and compelling evidence that smog can make you sick and even kill you.

But now this astro-turf-generated fiction is starting to pop up outside DC. Consider this commentary in Nevada, which not only inveighs against better clean air standards but denounces those “regulators.”

Nevada, of course, is where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is locked in a close race with Tea Party/Republican candidate Sharron Angle, who argues on her web site in favor of more on- and offshore oil drilling.

EPA recently postponed a final decision on the smog standard until approximately late October.

You may want to keep an eye out for similar oily “commentaries” as we get closer to a decision.

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