As millions of Americans get ready to sit down for Thanksgiving dinner Thursday ahead of a four-day weekend, the Obama administration has quietly issued a proposal for new EPA regulations.
Coming full circle on a campaign promise, the Obama administration will propose tightening the amount of a smog-forming pollutant in the air.
People familiar with the proposal tell the Associated Press that the EPA will recommend lowering the limit for ground-level ozone to 65 to 70 parts per billion, down from a 75 parts per billion standard set in the 2008.
The proposal will be announced Wednesday to meet a court-ordered Dec. 1 deadline. The stricter standard makes good a campaign promise Obama made during his first run for the White House.
The EPA argues these new smog rules will make Americans healthier and the air cleaner, but job creators and business advocates are pushing back, saying the standards are unattainable, won't make much difference in air quality and will have a negative impact on the economy.
Leaked details of the proposal drew sharp criticism from industry groups, which argue that tighter restrictions will lead to higher costs and losses in jobs and economic productivity. American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard said air quality is already improving throughout much of the country, and many states are still struggling to adjust to the last change in ozone regulations six years ago.
Meanwhile, over the past 90 days the federal government has issued 6,000 new regulations for small businesses around the country.