March 14, 2008

Bushed Again, Just Say No To Your Health

Yesterday the health and science community was up in arms over the EPA's newer, more stringent (barely) regulations for ozone (blogged here). Well its come out today that the new pathetically low standards would have been higher had President Bush not intervened at the 11th hour to relax the regulations. Today White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto said, "This is not a weakening of regs (regulations) or standards" and the new standards are the "most stringent smog standards in history." Tony obviously doesn't understand that when the administration contacts an independent panel (of scientists and community leaders) and demands that they lower regulation standards, weakening them is exactly what they're doing. I fully expect the media to lay low on this one and give the Bush administration another free pass to screw us. Viva the free market!

Ozone, a major contributor to smog is choking off major portions of inhabited air space due to pollution from factories and cars. A stringent law would have forced communities to hold their businesses responsible for released ozone. This is a much more efficient way to regulate pollution output. Place the honus on counties to reach a low level of ozone and fine them if they don't. The cities then have the incentive to regulate their businesses and demand they lower ozone output. If they don't then the city can pass on the fine to the business. This is an important form of regulation where citizens who live in and around the areas affected by large polluters will have the ownership to demand cleaner air. Federal regulators are very inefficient because they can't look in everyone's backyard all of the time, but local governments can be held responsible for the type of pollution they allow within their jurisdiction. This will cost less money for oversight as well as bring the ownership of regulation within the communities that are affected.

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