Saying that "reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover" prompted his administration to rethink, President Obama just announced that he's withdrawing proposed regulations that would have tightened government smog standards in a bid to protect the ozone.
"I want to be clear: my commitment and the commitment of my administration to protecting public health and the environment is unwavering," the president added in a statement posted on the White House website.
But in addition to the negative effect that new regulations might have on the economy, Obama said, "work is already underway to update a 2006 review of the science that will result in the reconsideration of the ozone standard in 2013. Ultimately, I did not support asking state and local governments to begin implementing a new standard that will soon be reconsidered."
"The smog standard was among the Obama administration regulations that House Republicans said this week they would try to block this fall. The move is sure to raise the ire of environmentalists, a core Obama constituency."
In a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, the Office of Management and Budget says the proposed rule "would be problematic in view of the fact that a new assessment, and potentially new standards, will be developed in the relatively near future."
And, adds OMB regulator affairs Administrator Cass Sunstein, "the president has instructed me to give careful scrutiny to all regulations that impose significant costs on the private sector or on state, local or tribal governments."