White House: Obama would veto GOP bill blocking ozone rule

White House: Obama would veto GOP bill blocking ozone rule
© Getty Images

White House officials warned Tuesday that the Obama administration opposes a House GOP bill to delay implementation of a new federal standard on surface-level ozone, or smog.

The House is due to vote Wednesday on a bill from Rep. Pete OlsonPeter (Pete) Graham OlsonHouse Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit Republican Fort Bend County Sheriff wins Texas House seat 10 bellwether House races to watch on election night MORE (R-Texas) to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new ozone rules. 


Supporters of the bill, including major business groups like the National Association of Manufacturing and the Chamber of Commerce, support the bill, saying the ozone standards are too strict and will hurt businesses. 

But, in a statement on Tuesday, the White House touted the importance of cutting ozone pollution for public health, saying the ozone standards are “science-based” and highlighted the growth of the economy even as ozone levels decrease. 

The bill “would delay implementation of the 2015 ozone health standard that will otherwise improve air quality for millions of Americans,” the statement said. “This would result in people living in areas with unhealthy ozone levels for at least an additional 10 years.”

The statement said Obama’s advisers would recommend he veto the bill if it hits his desk, as he has with other GOP efforts this year to overturn EPA rules.

The EPA in October announced a new ozone standard of 70 parts per billion, a tighter level than the 75 parts per billion limit that was then on the books.

Industry groups had encouraged the Obama administration not to tighten the standard, and many groups and states have sued over the new one since its release.

Republicans, too, pushed back against the new rule, and they will vote to weaken it for the first time this week.