President Obama has done it again. Assailed by relentless pressure from right wing groups, big business and Wall Street influences, particularly from industrial polluters, he has tabled a centerpiece of policy, that Americans, concerned about air quality, have been working on for years. Industry in America has used every loophole and every pressure point to find ways to continue to belch out millions of tons of smog and ozone creating pollution. This is the central cause of global warming and the climate change that has impacted the world. Now, the most powerful nation on earth, led by it's president, has given up.
In his presidential campaign he repeatedly said that he would put in place stronger regulations to keep our air clean. Now he has told the EPA to stop plans to reduce ozone concentrations...smog.
This is what is so difficult to understand about this president. His willingness to pull back on matters that he has formerly said were matters of principle. His logic? That it would lower regulatory pressure on business and perhaps help the economy because we can't afford clean air. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. This is the same argument that third world nations have been giving for years, to avoid environmental responsibility. India, China, Latin America, Africa all cry out: "Hey man, we can't afford environmental responsibility, besides it causes more regulations."
So those thousands who die of lung disease, they have been put on the back shelf as well.
Business and right wing politicians were pleased. Not pleased enough to stop their opposition to Obama, but pleased that they got a "gimme" victory. One they snicker about in country clubs across the nation. "We have that &%$#@& on the run" is the matra in business circles. To the rest of the world, it appears that they are right. Obama appears to be weaker by the day, and for many educated and concerned Americans, this latest act suggests that there is something deeply missing in this President. He appears weak and wavering. He acts like the men of old who were castrated to create a change of behavior.
Those who have spent a lifetime researching and working on behalf of a cleaner environment, are flustered. They do not know where Obama stands on anything, because what he seems to represent in public speeches, is repeatedly compromised by his stances. As an observer, I have a sense that he avoids confrontation and does not have the backbone for a fight for principal. Mr Obama asked EPA administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw the draft of EPA rules, saying: "I have continued to underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover."
Recover? The 9.2% of Americans who cannot find a job and the millions who have stopped trying, don't see a recovery. Unfortunately, they also see a weak President who seems to be avoiding confrontation. If he is tired, and weak, he might be better off to allow someone with "fire in the belly" to take up the battle. Certainly the T-Party crowd is willing to fight over almost anything, and everything. Obama, appears weak, and frankly,we do not know if he can recover.
The EPA estimated that the standard could also have saved $100,000,000,000.00 (BN) in health costs, and prevent 12,000 premature deaths a year, from heart and lung complications.
Ozone Is hard on lung functions, and particularly hurts those with asthma and respiratory conditions.
"This is a new low for President Obama," said Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity.
Gene Karpinski, the president of the League of Conservation Voters, said: "The Obama administration is caving to big polluters at the expense of protecting the air we breathe.
"This is a huge win for corporate polluters and a huge loss for public health."
The White House said a new standard would be issued in 2013, after more research. We have been researching this for 50 years. Obama seems to think that if he gives way on this, it will help him politically, or help the economy to recover. He should know by now that Repubs are not going to vote for him whatever he does. But in doing this, he has lost another few percentage points of Democrats. And, in doing so, allows continued damage to the American people.
Harry Truman, Teddi Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, we knew where they stood. The same with Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson. Obama, not even his best friends know if he is a reliable President. My 87 year old mother is a West Texas farmer, and conservative in nature, as most west Texans are. She has faced the worst drought in 50 years, the past 10 months, without a single rain on the family farm.
She said it best.
"I voted for Obama. But he is talk without substance. He just can't pull the load. He defines how to operate a gate, does it fluently, but can't actually 'close the gate'. He has been castrated by the Republicans, and now is able to do nothing."
West Texas Farmer, Pauletta Middleton Daniels