President Obama made the right move yesterday in quashing the EPA’s impending ozone regulations, and it wasn’t an easy decision for him to make.
If Obama is the least bit serious about creating jobs, this was something he needed to do. Though issues like global warming get more play, it’s the ozone rule that businesses fear most, fretting that it could force them to slash millions of jobs.
The decision is a rare recognition by the White House that regulation and economic programming require balance with the adverse effect such initiatives have on the economy.
While overall this dose of reality will likely help Obama politically – jobless voters are unhappy voters – it’s still a risk for him because it forced him to anger many in his base who provide him with moral and political support.
Sure, the enviros are unhappy. But more worrisome to the president are his campaign grunts, the young ideologues who bought into hope and change and now must square their belief in Obama with his decision to stick with George W. Bush’s pollution standards.
Angering your core supporters is never an easy move for a politician, and Obama’s decision, though probably helping him politically, will also help the country. He deserves credit for making it.
Making things even harder for him on the Green Politics front is that he has recently approved new drilling in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico and allowed construction of a pipeline from Canada to Texas.
Ironically enough, the health effects of ozone and the ability of the government to do something about them is less controversial than that of greenhouse gases, where Obama continues to plow ahead.
The lighter cars Obama wants to address greenhouse gas emissions will actually kill people and will have essentially no real effect on global warming – assuming even a large role for man-made contributions.
Now, if Obama would just reconsider the financial and health care regulations he has inflicted on the economy and propose vast reductions in projected long term entitlement spending, he may actually start moving the economy in the right direction.