Energy & Environment

GOP leaders push Obama to abandon smog rule

Republican leaders in the House and Senate are urging President Obama to immediately withdraw the ozone regulations proposed Wednesday.

They pointed to a 2011 incident in which the White House publicly stopped the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as it tried to update the ozone standard, which is meant to reduce smog, and asked him to pull it again.

{mosads}“The president himself has acknowledged this regulation could go against the will of the American people when he pulled the plug on a similar proposal in 2011,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in a statement.

“Then, the president said the rule would be too burdensome and costly during a time of economic distress. It is hard to see how the economic conditions the president cited a few years ago are much different than today,” he said.

If Obama goes forth with the rule, McCarthy promised that “the House will conduct aggressive oversight and use the proper legislative approach to continue to promote cleaning the air we breathe while ensuring our communities are not burdened with unrealistic regulations.”

Sen. John Thune (S.D.), chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, blasted the rule as well.

“With nearly 9 million Americans still struggling to find work and make ends meet, the last thing the president should be proposing is a regulation that will have a devastating impact on jobs and energy prices for those who can afford it the least,” Thune said.

Leaders in the House Energy and Commerce Committee also pushed against the rule.

“In 2011, President Obama rightly admitted that new regulations in this area could hurt jobs and our economy and the White House directed EPA to withdraw its onerous proposed ozone rule,” said Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the panel’s chairman.

“It makes zero sense to now issue new guidelines that will only destroy jobs when the current standards still have not been fully implemented — the president would be doubling down on disaster.”

“We have seen a lot of destructive rules stem from President Obama’s EPA, but this one has the potential to be the most expensive and one of the most burdensome,” said Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), chairman of the energy and power subcommittee.

The lawmakers’ arguments on the cost and timing of the rule largely reflect what business groups have long said about it.

Tags Ed Whitfield Environmental Protection Agency Fred Upton John Thune Kevin McCarthy Ozone Smog

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