On Friday, President Obama announced that he had asked EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw the final National Ambient Air Quality Standard (known as a “NAAQS”) for ozone pollution, which she and her expert agency had sent to the White House for review. The president’s announcement is terribly bad news, and terribly bad policy, on several scores.
1. Law: The reason the president gave for asking EPA to withdraw its standard is an unlawful reason. President Obama explained that while his administration has taken actions (some only proposed) to strengthen protections under the Clean Air Act, he has, “[a]t the same time … continued to underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover.”
“With that in mind,” he explained, he had asked Administrator Jackson to withdraw the standards she had submitted to the White House. But the Supreme Court has unequivocally held that the Clean Air Act forbids the consideration of economic costs in setting the NAAQS. I suppose someone could argue that because the president decided only not to let EPA r... Read more