What happened: In September 2011, President Obama ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw its draft rule for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone pollution and stated in a speech that this was due to the rule’s potential impact on the economy. Previously, in 2009, based on the recommendations of agency scientists and scientific advisors, the EPA had determined that the current ozone standards were too high. In July 2011, the EPA submitted to the White House a draft rule that lowered the ozone standard based on what the best available science showed could better protect people from the health harms associated with ozone pollution.
Why it matters: The Clean Air Act requires that the National Ambient Air Quality Standards be set solely based on the best available science and, by ignoring this, President Obama placed political considerations over the health and safety of millions of people in the United States.
Learn more about how President Obama ordered that the EPA withdraw a rule that would have lowered ozone standards based on the best available science.