Why Obama is wrong on smog standards

 

If the US Chamber of Commerce praises an Obama environmental decision, you can pretty much be sure that it's something that hurts Americans and endangers public health. Earlier today, after an industry-funded lobbying spree, the White House announced it would delay enacting new, tough smog standards until 2013. What does this mean for asthmatics, respiratory patients, kids and the over 186 million people who live near dirty factories and power plants and breathe dirty air every day?

According to the EPA's own analysis, the smog standards could save over 12,000 lives. So why would Obama decide to wait two years to enact standards that could save lives across the country? Maybe his political advisors, weighing his chances of reelection, decided that companies like Exxon Mobil, American Electric Power, Valero, Trans-Canada and other energy behemoths might tip the election his way with unlimited donations? Or maybe it's the US Chamber of Commerce's army of lobbyists, unleashed on Obama's EPA and Congress.
 
Whatever the political considerations, President Obama's moral calculations are way off. Not only will delaying smog standards cost lives, but it shows the American people that he's willing to let huge corporations and short-term profits trump our survival and the health of the planet. That's not a precedent that we should take lightly – it's up to us to show President Obama that even if he is, and even if the cards are stacked against us, we won't be cowed. Out in front of the White House today, over 130 people were arrested as part of the fight to stop the Keystone XL pipeline – another key test for Obama. Their spirit, and the resolve that over 1000 others who have been arrested there in the past two weeks have shown, shows our power.
 
On September 24, Moving Planet day, let's show Obama, and the rest of the world, that we can move the planet by using our hands and feet, by taking a stand and uniting our voices – and showing our power through spirit and resolve.
 

 

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