Lisa Jackson Should Promulgate the Ozone Standard or Resign

by Thomas McGarity | September 06, 2011

Last Friday, President Obama ordered EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw EPA’s new ambient air quality standard for ground level ozone (smog). The order came in a letter from Cass Sunstein, the head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget. 

The order does not pretend to be based on science. Indeed, it flies in the face of the available science on the human health effects of ozone as determined on at least two occasions by EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC). The White House acknowledges – even touts – that the order is based on economic considerations (President Obama wrote in a statement Friday that “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.”) But the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision written by Justice Antonin Scalia, held that costs are not to be considered in setting ambient air quality standards.

If Administrator Lisa Jackson obeys the order, her action may not strictly violate the letter of Clean Air Act, but it will violate the spirit of that statute. It will also be the wrong thing to do from a public policy perspective. Leaving the current standard in place will (according to EPA’s own calculations) result ...

When Politics Trump Science: How the Ozone Standard's Three-Year Delay Has Already Led to Thousands of Avoidable Deaths

by Rena Steinzor | July 20, 2011
This post was written by CPR President Rena Steinzor and Policy Analyst James Goodwin. Few incidents better illustrate the Bush Administration’s outright hostility to politically inconvenient science than its 2008 rule updating the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). In the run-up to that rule, Bush’s EPA ignored the unanimous recommendation of the Clean Air Science Advisory Committee (CASAC), an independent and well-respected advisor to the EPA on clean air issues, that it set the standard in the range of ...

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