News and Events Involving Environmental Law, Published by Chicago Environmental Attorney Dave Scriven-Young
of Peckar & Abramson, P.C. -- (312) 881-6309

President Obama Announces EPA Will Not Modify Bush-Era Smog Standards

Happy Labor Day everyone!  I hope you will have a chance to have a little rest and relaxation today.  The most interesting environmental story to come out recently was President Obama’s announcement on Friday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will not finalize its proposed rule to set more stringent smog standards.  This will leave in place standards that were put into place under President George W. Bush’s administration in 2008.  I wrote about Obama’s proposed rule earlier this year in this blog post.

According to news accounts, the new smog regulations would have “would cost up to $90 billion a year, making it one of the most expensive environmental regulations ever imposed in the U.S.”  That seems to be the motivation driving the President’s decision, although this has made his friends in the environmental community furious.  They believe that the Bush standards will result in the deaths of Americans.  This may cause the American Lung Association to reinstitute a lawsuit against EPA that it suspended after EPA announced the new smog standards.

Industry is, of course, praising this decision.  They say that the President should be focused on jobs, not imposing new crushing regulations on businesses that will cost them money and keep them from hiring new people.

Personally, I don’t think this is the end for the new smog regulations, especially if President Obama wins a second term.  I think that this recent move has more to do with Obama’s reelection than with ensuring a more business-friendly climate in Washington.  Don’t be surprised if the new smog standards aren’t resurrected in Obama’s second term, if there is one.

What do you think President Obama’s environmental priorities should be?  Take my new poll on Facebook or discuss in the comments to this blog post. 

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments. To set up a free initial consultation to discuss your legal matter, please contact Chicago environmental attorney Dave Scriven-Young at (312) 239-9722 or

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