As you may know, EPA’s science advisers will meet next Friday afternoon to discuss EPA’s proposed new national air standards for ozone, commonly referred to as smog.
You may recall that, in the face of intense polluter and some congressional opposition, the EPA has repeatedly delayed making a final decision. It bucked the issue back to its science advisers, who already told the EPA that it should set tougher new standards to keep people from getting sick and dying.
And so the new battleground will involve various scientific hired guns, bought and paid for by polluters, who are pulling out all the stops to try to influence the science advisers.
Already the docket has been flooded by big companies, led by the oil industry, which seek to block action, bolster their (mainly Republican) friends in Congress and to lay the groundwork for an inevitable court challenge.
The comments by the various interest groups can be found here: http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/RSSRecentHappeningsCASAC/F03C304FF74D0E798525781D006CA14B?OpenDocument
It’s a rogues’ gallery of some of our nation’s most notorious polluters.
Among those raising questions is the infamous BP, which argues that there is too much “background” pollution in our western national parks and that setting new standards won’t realty make any difference. (They are at least correct about there being too much pollution.)
Others attempting to derail tougher new standards include Exxon Mobil, the American Petroleum Institute, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, and the National Association of Manufacturers.
This is only one chapter in this smoggy saga.
Remember what this is all really about: the big companies do not want to be told they have to spend more money cleaning up their pollution. They spend money on lobbyists, lawyers, and scientific hired guns instead.