For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Nick Berning, 202-222-0748, nberning@foe.org
Kelly Trout, 202-222-0722, ktrout@foe.org

Obama Trashes Smog Protections

President decides Americans’ lungs are less important than polluting corporations and Eric Cantor

WASHINGTON - President Obama today announced he is blocking standards that would have protected Americans from excessive ground-level ozone pollution, which is the primary constituent of smog and which worsens bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.

The standards were developed by EPA experts fulfilling their obligation under the Clean Air Act to protect Americans’ health. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) recently called for the overruling of the EPA experts, and overturning these standards has been a priority for corporate polluters’ lobbyists.

Friends of the Earth managing director David Hirsch had the following response:

“President Obama decided today to trash fundamental protections for Americans’ health. His decision will mean more children suffering from asthma and more permanent lung damage for adults. It is unacceptable.

“Adding insult to injury, President Obama claimed that asking corporations to act responsibly is too much of a ‘burden’ for them, ignoring the fact that studies show responsible environmental protections spur investment in clean technology and create jobs.

“The president’s claim that he has shown an ‘unwavering’ commitment to public health and the environment is absurd. In truth, when considering the extent of the transformation that’s needed, his administration’s record on environmental issues has bordered on the pathetic.

“Americans are crying out for leadership, instead we have a president taking his cues from Eric Cantor. To call this discouraging is an understatement.”

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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

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