As the Washington Post is reporting today, there is a minor – if temporary – victory in the war against oppressive over-regulation by the federal government coming your way. The Obama administration is backing down on the EPA’s efforts to heighten ozone restrictions to a point where even Yellowstone National Park would fail to meet them.
President Obama abruptly pulled back proposed new national smog standards Friday morning, overruling the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to compel states and communities nationwide to reduce local air pollution in the coming years or face federal penalties.
The move represented a win for the business community, which had lobbied to postpone new restrictions on ground-level ozone—known as smog—until 2013 in light of the current economic downturn. It also raised questions about the fate of several other controversial air quality regulations EPA is preparing to finalize this year.
Sadly, I must report that this isn’t the real story here. For the full effect, we need to go to the official White House statement on this, in which President Obama states, (apparently with a straight face):
At the same time, I have continued to underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover. With that in mind, and after careful consideration, I have requested that Administrator Jackson withdraw the draft Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards at this time.
You didn’t seriously just say that, did you? Did we get a new Pod Person President this week when I wasn’t looking? This is the same administration which is about to cause rolling blackouts and skyrocketing energy costs in Texas because of cross state emission standards. It’s the same president who is jacking up the CAFE standards to the point where automobile prices will rise, assuming Detroit can meet them at all. This is the president who used overly burdensome regulations to create a de facto permitorium on gulf coast drilling costing us tens of thousands of jobs and God only knows how much domestic energy stores. And this administration has used the regulatory powers of the NLRB to effectively shut down an entire new production plant for Boeing.
Are you, Mr. President, perhaps warming up some new comedy material for the next nerd prom?