Obama in the O-zoneWhat bothers me is the fact that Obama admits that his EPA schemes do kill job growth in this country. Despite that knowledge, until now, he's pressed forward with them anyway.
Wall Street Journal editorial
The White House says President Obama made the call Thursday to defer the Environmental Protection Agency's new, strict standards on ozone emissions, but make no mistake: Yesterday's politically destructive "zero" for new-job growth (see above) lies at the center of this startling and welcome decision.
When doing what it does, the EPA, under current statute, is not supposed to consider the impact of its rules on jobs or costs. This allows the EPA's rulemakers to operate in a world free of the economic realities that govern most of the rest of life.
To recap: In fall 2009, Mr. Obama's EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson, requested that the Bush Administration's proposed reduction in permitted ozone levels, measured in parts per million, be put on hold while her new regime reconsidered the rule. In 2008, the agency proposed reducing measurable ozone levels to 0.075 ppm. It doesn't sound like much, but wait.
Come January 2010, the Obama EPA said it wanted to lower the ozone standard more, to between 0.060 and O.070 ppm. Problem is, this would have put 85% of monitored U.S. counties (628 out of 736) into "non-attainment" status. And the problem with that is that under current law, non-compliance effectively forces many utilities, businesses and agricultural operations in those counties to shelve expansion plans.
Translation: no new jobs. In Indiana alone, some 175 business appealed to Ms. Jackson to ditch the ozone rule. By its own undoubtedly lowball estimate, EPA said compliance costs could come to $90 billion a year by 2020. All of this to advance by a couple of years an EPA review of the ozone rule that was already scheduled by law to take place in 2013.
Normally, these disputes are fought among lawyers for the EPA, industry and the environmental lobby. But "normally" means when the economy's growth rate is greater than 2% and unemployment is no worse than 6%. Then costs are merely passed along to consumers. But with "new normal" unemployment sitting at 9.1%, someone on the re-election side of Mr. Obama's universe must have taken a closer look at the consequences of what Ms. Jackson's squads were up to. [link]
Whether it's because he recognizes that America has had about all it can take of this and is intent on driving him from office, or because he simply wants to turn the jobless numbers around, is less important than the fact that he's effectively killed this EPA time bomb.
Now if he puts the clamps on the Environmental Protection Agency in toto we'll all be better off.