Barack Obama has been just as bad as George W. Bush when it comes to curbing ground-level ozone pollution. But soon he’ll have another chance to get ozone regulations right.

Ozone rocks when it’s up in the stratosphere, protecting us from UV rays and skin cancer. But when it’s at ground level, where it’s the main component of smog, it can cause respiratory infections, asthma, and other ailments. Ground-level ozone pollution is produced when sunlight triggers reactions involving the chemicals that are spewed out of factories and tailpipes. Naturally, oil companies and other polluting industries don’t want to be required to rein in this pollution.

In 2008, the last year of the Bush administration, the EPA finalized new rules on ground-level ozone, allowing 75 parts per billion in the air. Clean air advocates and enviros had called for a lower limit of 60 ppb, saying it was needed to protect public health. In 2011, the EPA was poised to tighten the standard, but the Obama White House cravenly quashed the effort, fearing backlash from industry the year before a presidential election. At the time, John Walke of the Natural Resources Defense Council called this “the most outrageous environmental offense of the Obama administration.”