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Policy Update 1/19/11: Obama steps up regulatory defense

19
Jan

Policy Update 1/19/11: Obama steps up regulatory defense

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After a week of grieving over the tragedy in Tucson, members of the House returns to DC and to business as usual this week, beginning with a vote on the GOP's "job-killing health care repeal" legislation. The unfortunate events in Tucson have pushed political leaders to call for civility and bipartisanship, yet the rhetoric on Capitol Hill is as heated as ever. The Clean Air Act is up and running for carbon pollution, but remains a political target for leaders of the GOP-led House. Fortunately, the Obama administration has been more vocal in their defense of smart regulations like the Clean Air Act and rules governing mountaintop removal coal mining.

Obama Sticks up for Smart Regs

Today President Obama wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal sticking up for "common sense" laws like the Clean Air Act that benefit society. His piece promised an overhaul of regulations that may be excessive, but makes this concession while defending smart regulations that should be "tougher."

Obama's rhetoric concedes the idea that some regulations are "just plain dumb," and at the same time has multiple executive branches sticking up for smart rules that are helping the climate:

In addition to smart choices made by the agency, Obama's non-partisan BP oil spill commission uncovered "systemic" problems that are compromising both the industry and our politics. For more coverage of the oil spill commission, check out The Hill's simple primer.

Despite Obama's strong defense of smart regulations, some members of Congress are bending to political pressure from industry and embracing preemptive compromises on core climate safeguards like the Clean Air Act. Even progressive Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown (D) has been flirting with the idea of blocking the Clean Air Act.

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Please direct questions or comments to jason@1sky.org

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