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Obama Administration withdraws proposed rulemaking on strengthened ozone standards

In a statement released this morning, President Barack Obama said he has requested that US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson withdraw the agency’s draft Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) rulemaking.

In January 2010, EPA proposed strengthening the NAAQS for ground-level ozone, the main component of smog, and said it planned to issue final standards by 31 August 2010. (Earlier post.) The proposed revisions were based on scientific evidence about ozone and its effects on people and the environment, and resulted from a reconsideration of the primary and secondary ozone standards set at 0.075 ppm in 2008.

National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)
The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires EPA to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for wide-spread pollutants from numerous and diverse sources considered harmful to public health and the environment.
The Clean Air Act established two types of national air quality standards. Primary standards set limits to protect public health; secondary standards set limits to protect public welfare, including protection against visibility impairment, damage to animals, crops, vegetation, and buildings. The Clean Air Act requires periodic review of the science upon which the standards are based and the standards themselves.
EPA has set NAAQS for six principal pollutants (“criteria pollutants”): carbon monoxide (CO); lead (Pb); nitrogen dioxide (NO2); ozone (O3); particulate matter (PM); and sulfur dioxide (SO2).

In January 2010, EPA proposed strengthening the 8-hour primary ozone standard, designed to protect public health, to a level within the range of 0.060-0.070 parts per million (ppm). EPA also proposed a distinct cumulative, seasonal secondary standard, designed to protect sensitive vegetation and ecosystems, including forests, parks, wildlife refuges and wilderness areas. EPA proposed to set the level of the secondary standard within the range of 7-15 ppm-hours.

In EPA’s analysis of the regulatory impact, the costs of reducing ozone to 0.070 ppm would range from an estimated $19 billion to $25 billion per year in 2020. For a tougher standard of 0.060 ppm, the costs would range from $52 billion to $90 billion.

Offsetting that, the value of mortality benefits and other health improvements of reducing ozone to 0.070 ppm would range from an estimated $13 billion to $37 billion per year in 2020. For a standard of 0.060 ppm, the value of benefits would range from $35 billion to $100 billion.

As part of EPA’s review of the science, Administrator Jackson asked the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) in December 2010 for further interpretation of the epidemiological and clinical studies they used to make their recommendations on the standards. To ensure EPA’s decision is grounded in the best science, EPA said it would review the input CASAC provides before the new standard is selected.

In July 2011, Administrator Jackson announced that she was fully committed to finalizing EPA's reconsideration of the Clean Air Act health standard for ground level ozone, and noted that the reconsideration is currently going through interagency review led by OMB (Office of Management and Budget). EPA said it would finalize its recommendation following completion of this final step, bout would not issue the final rule on 29 July, the date the agency had targeted.

Over the last two and half years, my administration, under the leadership of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, has taken some of the strongest actions since the enactment of the Clean Air Act four decades ago to protect our environment and the health of our families from air pollution. From reducing mercury and other toxic air pollution from outdated power plants to doubling the fuel efficiency of our cars and trucks, the historic steps we’ve taken will save tens of thousands of lives each year, remove over a billion tons of pollution from our air, and produce hundreds of billions of dollars in benefits for the American people.

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. Work is already underway to update a 2006 review of the science that will result in the reconsideration of the ozone standard in 2013. Ultimately, I did not support asking state and local governments to begin implementing a new standard that will soon be reconsidered.

—President Obama


  • Overview of January 2010 proposed revisions to ozone NAAQS




The USA is nearing the successful completion of the forty year effort to clean up our Air and Water. America is the first and only place in the World that has done so. It has rolled up its sleeves and went to work, rather than talk interminably about how they might do so someday like the Watermelon Greens of Europe, who only talk a good show.

A desperate final act of a bunch of eco nitwits to place impossible standards in place are being reversed, by the very fool who appointed these twits in the first place.

Amazing what Reality and a re-election campaign can force.


Well said ExDemo! Hear, hear!


But wait; what about all that BS about green jobs; green industry creates jobs. They said that.

I was just about (within ~45 years) convinced that otherwise costly green crap created jobs - regardless of how it was shunned by private enterprise.

They said that.
They did NOT say they hoped that.

They said that all the new equipment required to prevent ozone CREATED jobs.

Who to believe.

On the bright side;
"Administrator Jackson announced that she was fully committed".

And none too soon, I might add.

Roger Pham

This is a good move from Obama and the EPA.
"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."
Yes, less regulation, and more common sense.

With increasing electrification of LDV's made possible by the predicted cost of automobile battery to be reduced by half within a decade, the urban peak-congestion air quality will be clean and cleaner without requiring any more cumbersome regulation. There will be more and more HEV's on the road that will emit but a fraction of the emission of current vehicles.

Green industry does create China, eventually to sell PV panels and wind turbines to the rest of the world.
Meanwhile, in the USA, High-profile solar tech firm Solyndra shutsdown, lay off 1,100 workers; >$1.6B in Fed and private funding. Why? Can't compete with China on cost. Sound familiar?

The high environmental standards and worker protection standards (OSHA and Worker's Compensation) and worker's health insurance have given US industries a huge COST DISADVANTAGE in comparison to Chinese industries.

So, yes, indeed being GREEN has really cost US industries most of the jobs in that sector. Being Green is uncompetitive economically. We must dismantle the EPA and disbar all the trial lawyers to prevent environmental lawsuits that has cost our industries trillions of $$$ in defense cost and compensation payment. We must disband all the workers' UNIONS that have made it more costly for our industries.

OR, may be we just need to have enough balls to assess appropriate amount of TARIFFS from products from all countries that have standards below ours, to level out the playing field?

Come to think of it, all of the bureaucrats' works, lawyer's works, clerical work, health care works, worker's compensation works have created a lot of jobs for our service sectors. The higher regulatory burdens, the more white-collar worker's jobs will be created. And why not, especially when we can make stuffs faster and faster and require less and less human labor than ever before? How else can we employ all the factory workers that were no longer needed due to increasing automation and robotization?

What do ya think, ToppaTom?

Roger Pham

I must hasten to add that the US and West Europe (and other countries with similar EPA standards and worker protection standards) should create a tariff-free Free Trade Zone, in order to have a huge trading bloc to promote product diversity and foster enough competition to maintain high standards of living.

Products from countries that have unfair cost advantages outside of the Free Trade Zone will be assessed uniform TARIFFS when imported to ALL the countries within the Free Trade Zone.
This will force them to clean up their environments and give better protections to their workers and to treat their workers with more dignity and humanity!

This is showing good leadership for a cleaner and more sustainable Earth, instead of caving in to political pressure from the radical and extremist right wing!


Your idea that jobs would be saved by eliminating the EPA is naive.

If you have a bad policeman you don’t eliminate the police.

If you invade a country because they insulted your inspectors you don’t dismantle the defense department.

If you have a wasteful, inefficient Postal service you don’t close it (umm maybe).

If health care costs are skyrocketing you don’t create gov Obamacare (words fail me here).

And when I say “you don’t”, I mean a rational person does not.

The issue is that the EPA, like any living thing (which it is not) and like any gov bureaucracy (which it IS), evolves to survive.

That’s why cancer is so pernicious – cells try to survive (just like any cellular organism) but if the delicate but essential control against runaway proliferation fails – you are attacked by cancer.

And that’s why gov agencies are so pernicious – it’s up to people like the tea partiers to control them.

And when the biggest opponent of business says the EPA should withdraw the draft Ozone regulations, you know that the green jobs it would create are orders of magnitude less than the jobs it would eliminate.

Roger Pham

I was just being tongue-in-cheek about dismantling the EPA and the rest of gov. bureaucracy.
The answer is NO, NO, NO.
The EPA and all the bureaucracy can be regarded as job creation engine for white collar jobs, as long as we institute appropriate tariffs on products from countries that have unfair cost advantage, to save our manufacturing sector and to save the world's environment and humanity and dignity standards.


As to trade barriers.

Let’s start with Harvey’s incessant claims that auto makers should make cars out of expensive lightweight materials.

This should be rephrased to the rhetorical; “I don’t know why they do not use more lightweight materials”. The implied answer then being “I/we are not expert and have not done the tradeoffs, but it would seem . . . “

Like who could possibly believe that not one of the “big” 3, VW, BMW, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, Kia, Tata, etc, etc have thought of this?
They continue to push such lightweight materials into the affordable realm. This is what they DO.
Every day.

And, no, it is not because all 350 automakers are controlled by Big Oil.

Back to why we should assess appropriate amount of TARIFFS from products from all countries that have standards below ours, to level out the playing field.

And as to the US and West Europe creating a tariff-free Free Trade Zone, in order to have a huge trading bloc to promote product diversity and foster enough competition to maintain high standards of living.

If these were properly changed to rhetorical questions I would hope someone that understands this would reply.

But your demand that we do this is simplistic - It has not worked in the past.

We impose safety standards as we areable as allowed by the WTO. Beyond that I don't know.

And anyone that was knowledgeable in this area, and would be tempted to respond to the tariff question would realize he was dealing with the likes of those that think:

• forced greenness creates jobs,
• that GM killed the EV,
• that the people wanted the PNGV and that Bush killed it
• that in 1960-90 Detroit made cars people did not want
• and too many more child like fantasies to mention
• just closing our borders to what we don't like = utopia

Better that he lectured to the local preschool.


“The EPA and all the bureaucracy can be regarded as job creation engine for white collar jobs”.


How does this differ from just giving them money, to stay at home, as an “entitlement”?

Does it matter to you that they produce nothing of value?

If you think they do; what is it?

Worth it to whom?

Do you just “want it to be” worth anywhere near what they produced before?

Maybe Obama, Reid or Pelosi said it was?

The USA is nearing the successful completion of the forty year effort to clean up our Air and Water.
Not from where I stand. The levels of mercury in the fish around here continue to climb due to emissions from coal-fired powerplants. Had we continued progress on e.g. IGCC, mercury emissions would be dropping along with SOx, NOx and CO2.

The ozone levels considered "safe" under the continued standard have been shown to cause harm even in healthy people. Getting rid of that harm is certainly a product of value.


All a matter of mostly unsupported opinion.

* no successful completion of the forty year effort

* Had we continued progress on IGCC, mercury emissions would be dropping.

* The ozone levels considered "safe" under the continued standard have been shown to cause harm [probably some data here]

* Getting rid of that harm [is practical] and

* is certainly a product of [significant] value.

Obama does not appear to share your view on these items.

But I would bet BIG $$ Pelosi thinks these are proven facts.

Roger Pham

We appreciate your humility in admitting your lack of familiarity with economics. Let me give you a hint: Rewind back the clock to right after WWII, when the US economy was the only economy intact. Both Europe and Asia was bombed to complete ruins. How fared the US economy? Very well, thank you. Did the USA need any help abroad in lending money or cheap products? NOPE! The reverse was true: The Marshall plan, in which the USA helped rebuild the rest of the world with US's industrial might!!!

Before China or other third-world job-outsourcing destinations came into play, how fared the US, Europe and Japan's economy? Answer: Very good, thank you!!!

In Windows XP, Vista or 7, what do you do if you messed up the program (OS)? You would do a system RESTORE! Let's restore our economy to the times before the major job outsourcing and grossly disadvantegeous free trades policy to those countries with unfair cost advantage.

H Ross Perot, billionaire and ROAD scholar, had warned us about the "giant sucking sound" in enacting NAFTA! What happened next was job exodus South of the US border, then boarded cargo ships on a oneway trip to China as next destination.

United We Stand, my friends!

Roger Pham

Correction: H Ross Perot, self-proclaimed ROADS scholar! and self-made billionaire.


RP...there are many other reasons for the current financial mess and accelerated US downfall:

1. loads of non-competitive lower quality local products justifying the purchase of imported goods (including millions of vehicles) .

2. lower quality education system.

3. more junk foods consumption, increased obesity, lower productivity and increased health care cost..

4. inefficient over sized house beyond owners means.

5. 200,000,000 inefficient over sized gas guzzlers

6. increased costly oil imports and consumption

7. very costly oil wars.

8. costly deficits and increased debts at all levels.

9. economy based on exaggerated (or non-existent) individual credits.

10. GDP progressively based of the purchase of imported goods (70%) instead of local production, giving people a false sense of well being.

11. too much/many speculations, lobbies, swindlers.

12. etc.


ToppaTom - we're not dealing with a rational head-of-state. We're dealing with a president that had supermajorities in both houses of congress for two years and passes an unconstitutional Obamacare law a majority of the American people did not want, then waits until the GOP to take the House of Representatives before making speech after speech about raising taxes on corporate jet owners, while our economy goes deeper and deeper into recession...with no end to record unemployment. Every speech is filled with his same old utopian nonsense backed up with NOTHING. He's the NOTHING president. He needs his own talk show for no one to watch because he's all talk and image...not substance or leadership.


So, RP after your sojourn through history; I assume you just think we should close our borders to incoming goods; and Utopia will follow.

Simple cures for simple people.
And ejj, as for nothing, he was not even instrumental in getting Obamacare through.
He was waiting to vote "present".

And HD;
Didn't you leave out "Driving for the fun of it?

Roger Pham

Your assessment of the USA has elements of truth, however, too pessimistic. American products typically have shown higher level of ingenuity and creativity than from anywhere else...until recently when manufacturing and R&D were outsourced to overseas. America typically was the first to invent new stuffs, then the world will copy them and sell'em cheaper due to unfair cost advantage. The "copy cats" do not have the expenses of huge R&D cost nor marketing cost...Solution: TARIFF! America was usually ahead of the world in environmental protection, because America was the leader in technology, and hence got to be the first to learn (the hard way) about the effects of toxic chemicals and pollutants. Environmental protection gives additional cost burden to US mfg's, leading to higher cost of US products. Solution: TARIFFS. The American Legal system allows the common people and the poor workers a voice over that of powerful corporations with deep lobbying pocket trying to squash them. The result: Higher legal cost employment cost for US corporations, hence higher cost for US products. Solution: TARIFFS!

The American education system and opportunity are the best in the world, to the students who really wanted to learn, and I was among them. The problem is that most students here are not motivated to learn! Can't blame the system nor the teachers. The best teachers that I've ever had were here in the USA...they were really knowledgeable and committed to teach to those who really wanted to learn and ask intelligent questions, like me.

American housing are the best in the world. Roomy and comfortable, wide and clean streets and lots of parking lots...Too bad, with so much job outsourcing and with the petrol price escalation of 2008, many Americans were laid off, and they in turn, lost their houses, their cars, their dignity and their American Dream!!!It was a really a tragedy...due to failed leadership.

I attribute failed leadership to the rest of your list, including gas-guzzling vehicles, costly oil importation and oil wars, costly deficits...etc. Actually, the leadership from 2000 to 2008 was very Big Oil and Big Defense, whose overly-generous supports got 'em the US Supreme Court.

Roger Pham

Totally agree with you about Mr. O. Generally, lack of vision and lack of direction.

I love history, TT!
The Chinese have tried to close their borders and their ports before, and ignored all Western scientific and technological advancements, and the results was disastrous...over 2 centuries of humiliation, harassment, and hardship.

So, the answer is NO, NO, NO, to closing the ports and the borders. Maintain a lively Free-Trade Zone for vibrant competition and technological exchange with countries with equal cost advantage. When the Heavy-Polluters and the Worker-Rights-abuser countries were slapped heavy tariffs for their products, they will reform and raise their environmental and worker protection standards to the World Standard, and thus will make the competition fair for all participants, and free trade will be possible for all countries. Leadership, my is better to lead (to avoid the iceberg), instead of follow blindly (like passengers in the Titanic).

Imagine a competitive sport without rules and without referee...The players will stop short of nothing to win, and will hurt themselves and each others, and this sport will not be sustainable...

A level playing field, without gov. subsidies, and with full world-standard environmental protection and worker protection, will be what's needed to make the world economy sustainable. Ditto for the environment.


Summary of Obama's Upcoming Jobs Speech To A Joint Session of Congress:

1) Class envy (instead of rewarding achievement)
2) Bush's fault
3) More spending (after a trillion has already been spent using money loaned from China)
4) Pretend the record of his performance & policies over the last two years don't exist

Wah-lah! Now you don't need to watch it!


OMG, you guys write about this stuff as if it were NOT the flim and flam of a flighty VR game. The V in VR means "virtual." And all the fantasy that implies. Sheesh.

BTW, all US Pexies since Ike have been Mil/Ind puppets. But we like Roger's tariff and Free Trade suggestions. Better a trade war than a nuclear one.


RP...Rome was the brightest, wealthiest, most powerful, shinning empire 2000 years ago. Their roads, bridges, buildings, armies etc were unmatched. Please read 'US Economy - The lost Decade' by BBC and you will find very pertinent (scary) data.

USA is (specially since 2000) losing or has already lost too much of its essential manufacturing base. The lower and middle classes well being has been going down with it. Wealth is rapidly being siphoned by speculators, embezzlers, banks, insurances and 3% of the people in the top class, while the majority (the other 97%) is getting poorer and poorer.

Of course, the people who siphoned most of the wealth will refuse to pay their fair share of the cost to run the country and the national debt will keep going up until the debt bubble burst. Jobs (and $$$) will keep moving out where wages are lower and potential profit margins are higher. That will progressively choke the US Economy unless measures are taken (soon) to reverse the trend, specially bringing back a stronger manufacturing base to reduce imports and increase exports and to create 10,000,000 new manufacturing jobs.

It is not an easy job and may even be impossible unless many people open their eyes and start listening to what people like Warren Buffet have to say.

Roger Pham

Lead poisoning was thought to have been the root cause of the demise of Rome.
We don't have any such poisoning here in the USA. We should try to halt global warming since overheating is not good for the brain, however, as well as restricting further environmental pollutants.

Like I've outlined, the solution for a bright economic and enviornmental future for the USA and the world is within reach. A century ago, the Communist Manifesto of Marx and Engel changed the the worst nightmare!!! Let's hope that we now have a new Green Economy Manifesto that will change the world for the better!!!
Let's try to pass on the words to all potential leaders and all political parties for this coming 2012 election.


One last question for RP.

Can USA's economy withstand another decade like the last one?

We cannot apply higher tariffs on goods from countries just because they don't work, live or look exactly like us. Otherwise, many countries would apply higher tariffs on our products because we consume too much crude oil, eat too much junk food, we are too fat, our per capita GHG is too high etc. We can't even insist that they use the same type of so called democracy as we have. That would not be free trade.

If we can't compete we will have to roll up our sleeves and go back to work.


But what is the; " . . new Green Economy Manifesto that will change the world for the better!!!"

Is it; "Maintain a lively Free-Trade Zone for vibrant competition and technological exchange with countries with equal cost advantage." ?

And we maintain that with military force?

Is that what "Imagine a competitive sport without rules and without referee..." means?

If not what?

Roger Pham

IMHO,the US'economy cannot withstand another decade like the last one.
That's why there is now the Tea Party movement trying to restore fiscal responsibility. The Tea Party is our main hope right now! They are looking one step ahead, to cut the budget to the bone, but we here have seen 2-3 steps ahead that will boost the economy and clean up the environment and achieve Energy Independence, while making deep and painful budget cut unnecessary:

1) Get the rich to invest in the new Green economy by making Tax Shelter for such (Carrots) and making laws to gradually raise the cost of polluting fossil fuels and pollution itself (Sticks). Thus the Green Carrots and Sticks approach! NO MORE wasteful ECONOMIC STIMULI, Mr. O! WE are already up to our ears with deficits! No more cronyism in rewarding political supporters!

2) Appropriate Tariffs on selected foreign imports to level the playing field for our manufacturers.

3) Get together with European Union (EU) and Japan and a few others to establish a Free Trade Zone to gain leverage to impose tariffs on countries with unfair cost advantage. The EU and Japan are also suffering just like the USA from job outsourcing and employment problems and trade imbalances.

4) Pay our elected officials much higher salaries and pay for all their campaign expenses as well, so that they do not have to depend on private supporters that they will be beholden to later on.

Harvey, the USA cannot impose tariffs alone, but together with the economic strength of the Free Trade Zone that includes the USA, the EU, Japan, may be Korea if they'll qualify, Australia, and any country that will qualify, together applying tariffs to all countries with unfair cost advantages, I'm sure it can be done. But, we must do it NOW, before we will bleed dry and fall apart! The US exporters should have no fear, they can export freely to any members of the Free Trade Zone.

Harvey, please do not lump all Americans together...Most hard-working Americans are neither fat, nor lazy! That's not my observation! All the lazy people who do not want to work can receive welfare support, on the condition that they will not have any more children! Being lazy, I'm sure that won't be hard to do. Within a few generations, we will have thinned out the lazy-people population real good. Give economic and social support for those hard-working people to have enough children to pass on the genes.

The Green Economic Manifesto will drastically reduce our GHG emission while creating jobs at the same time! WE have won the battle with tobacco addiction, from a smoking rate of 50% now down to 20%...similar result will be achievable with food addiction and the resultant obesity problem!

I hope the above have answered some of your questions. No military force will apply here to maintain the Free-Trade Zone. Tariff force alone should suffice. Look at NATO, as a guiding example: No country was forced to join NATO by force, nor any force was used against country who wants to leave NATO.

The Free-Trade Zone has a set of rules and regulations for all members to follow. Failure to obey the rules will be ground for expulsion from the Zone! It will not be a competitive sport without rules nor referee!

Thank you to all for your interest in this most vital matters.

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