John Engler, president of Business Roundtable, and other trade association leaders met with White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley and administration officials in the West Wing Tuesday to make the case that the EPA's proposed new air quality standards for ozone are excessive, ill-timed and terrible economic policy. Besides that, the EPA's proposed rule is discretionary; under the Clean Air Act an ozone review is due only in 2013. Why would you issue the most expensive environmental rule in history, certain to discourage growth and jobs creation, when unemployment is stuck above 9 percent?
Engler called the meeting a "good, frank" discussion, telling Politico.com's Robin Bravender the White House gave little indication how it was going to handle the much-delayed regulation. (Bravender reported on the meeting for Politico's new online service, PoliticoPro, which means the story's behind a subscription wall.) In a follow-up report, Bravender cited the administration's assurances that new ozone rules would embrace "flexibility." That's an increasingly popular term with the EPA and White House officials, "flexibility." Hope it's not a synonym for "uncertainty."
As Engler said in a statement Friday, Aug. 12:
The administration is obviously making a serious review of these damaging regulations, and we’re encouraged by that. President Obama again this week pointed to jobs as his administration’s priority, and the EPA’s proposals would negate any progress on creating jobs in the private sector. In reality, the rules would be the equivalent of posting signs on the U.S. economy, "Closed for business."
The statement was released after the EPA told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that it would not meet the Aug. 12 deadline for action on the 2008 ozone standards issued by the Bush administration and subsequently vitiated by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. Environmental groups are suing, naturally.
The industry leaders who met with Daley et al. Monday included those representing the groups that signed a joint letter to President Obama on Aug. 3 objecting to the proposed ozone rules: the American Petroleum Institute, National Association of Manufacturers, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the American Chemistry Council.
Elsewhere in the world of ozone:
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