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Obama nixes proposed ozone standards

The EPA has been a whipping boy for congressional Republicans and GOP presidential candidates.

And today, President Obama "abruptly pulled back proposed new national smog standards Friday morning, overruling the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to compel states and communities nationwide to reduce local air pollution in the coming years or face federal penalties," the Washington Post writes.

The Post called it "a win for the business community, which had lobbied to postpone new restrictions on ground-level ozone—known as smog—until 2013 in light of the current economic downturn."

Daniel J. Weiss at liberal think tank the Center for American Progress told the Post: “It’s unfortunate that the administration is siding with big oil over the health of children, seniors, and the infirm."

To that point, the American Petroleum Institute liked it: “The President’s decision is good news for the economy and Americans looking for work," said Jack Gerard, API's president. "EPA’s proposal would have prevented the very job creation that President Obama has identified as his top priority."

He contended: "Ozone levels and air quality continue to improve under current regulations and our industry is committed to making the air we all breathe cleaner while creating new jobs."

And: “The oil and natural gas industry was one of the few industries to actually create jobs in August. With the right public policies, we can do more to help generate more American jobs and help get our economy back on track.”