George W. Bush personally intervened on the new EPA smog ruling by pushing them to lower the standards more than the EPA wanted, to standards already lower than the recommended limit:
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agreed to weaken an important part of its new smog requirements after being told at the last minute that President Bush preferred a less stringent approach, according to government documents. They show tense exchanges between the EPA and the White House Office of Management and Budget in the days before the smog air quality standard was announced Wednesday. ~snip~
The disagreement concerned the amount of protection from ozone, or smog, that should be afforded wildlife, farmlands, parks and open spaces. This "public welfare" or "secondary" smog standard is separate from a decision to tighten the smog requirements for human health, which the EPA decided to do by reducing the allowable concentrations of ozone in the air from 80 parts per billion to 75 parts per billion.
The lowering of ozone to 75 parts per billion is far less than recommended by scientists, environmentalists and other experts for immediate human health. The 'secondary' smog standard is there to protect the environment over the long term.
"Never before has a president personally intervened at the 11th hour, exercising political power at the expense of the law and science, to force EPA to accept weaker air quality standards than the agency chief's expert scientific judgment had led him to adopt," said John Walke, clean air director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, a private advocacy group. "It is unprecedented and an unlawful act of political interference."
Environmentalists and ecologists have argued that the [secondary smog] standard should be more stringent than the human health ozone standard.More information is available from the Washington Post and MSNBC.
LABELS: CLIMATE CHANGE, ENVIRONMENT, EPA, GEORGE W. BUSH, POLITICS, REUTERS, STORMCHASER