Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Upton, Inhofe pressure EPA to delay national smog standard

I know many folks are focused on tomorrow’s expected vote in the House Energy and Power Subcommittee to handcuff EPA efforts to deal with climate change. It appears that effort is pretty much greased. (When they start discussing Mars, as one coal-state Rep. did yesterday, you know the outcome is probably preordained.)

But I do want to call your attention to another looming issue: EPA’s plan to update national clean air standards for ozone, or smog. We’ve tried to keep you apprised of developments on this – including new research which confirms that the 2008 standard set by the Bush administration is too weak to protect public health.

Industry groups, led by oil companies, are trying to throw up roadblocks and delay a final EPA decision to reconsider the bad Bush plan. (EPA, after several delays, is supposedly on track to do this by the end of July.)

And now the industry lobbies have enlisted some new allies in the form of Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK). In a March 8 letter to EPA, Upton and Inhofe are clearly trying to pressure EPA to delay a decision. They raise numerous procedural and technical questions, but it’s really just a transparent attempt to throw a monkey wrench into EPA’s gears.

We believe EPA has dragged its feet too long already. It should move forward to set a standard that adequately protects public health because breathing smog can make you sick and even shorten your life.

Here is a shortened link to their letter:

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