November 26, 2014

Obama on ozone — still a difference-splitter who doesn't get it

President Obama's new announcement on tighter ozone regulations typifies six years and counting of his presidency.

Current standard is 75 parts per billion. The Environmental Protection Agency wants that cut to 60 parts per billion.

So, after kicking this can down the road a couple of years, as in:
The E.P.A. had planned to release the new ozone rule in August of 2011, but as Republicans and powerful industry groups prepared to go on attack against the plan, Mr. Obama decided to delay its release, fearing that opposition to the regulation would hurt his re-election chances in 2012.
what does Dear Leader now opt to do?

Exactly split the difference with a proposed standard of 65-70 ppb. As if that's going to magically get some Republican representative, senator or governor to give him a man hug and an environmentalism bromance.

The proposed ozone rule comes as the longstanding battle over Mr. Obama’s use of the Clean Air Act to push his environmental agenda is erupting in Congress and the courts. The ozone rules are expected to force the owners of power plants and factories to install expensive technology to clean the pollutants from their smokestacks. 
Next year, the E.P.A. is expected to make final two more historic Clean Air Act rules aimed at cutting planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. Those rules, which are intended to curb pollutants that contribute to climate change, could lead to the shutdown of hundreds of power plants and freeze construction of future coal plants. 
The Republican-majority Congress, to be led by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the incoming majority leader, has vowed to block or overturn the entire group of rules. In a separate development, the Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to take up a challenge led by industry groups against another E.P.A. rule intended to curb emissions of mercury from coal plants. 
“We’re facing a series of regulations, and the cumulative cost of compliance and the burden of permitting is significant,” said Cal Dooley, president of the American Chemistry Council, a group which has lobbied aggressively against the rules. “An industry such as ours is poised to make significant investments in growth, but these regulations make that harder.”

Splitting the difference, Mr. Dear Leader, will stave off none of this.

That said, except for a neoliberal angle of more government investment in solar power research and development, I think Obama's even loss of an environmentalist than Bill Clinton. 

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