President Obama Abandons Clean Air: Picks Polluters Over Sick and Dying American Kids.

Sierra Club Coal Ad - MiaIn a sickening (literally) move, President Obama has told the Environmental Protection Agency to abandon their plans to protect kids from toxic air pollution, siding with big polluters like Exxon, Koch Industries, and their sock-puppet the US Chamber of Commerce over the health and safety of America’s youth.

The EPA did their job, following scientific advice, hearing from impacted communities, environmental justice, and health organizations. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson worked to set new standards for communities, which would have helped protect kids and keep people working instead of out of work sick or in the ER taking care of their kids and likely spurred investments in scrubbers and pollution control equipment manufactured here in the United States.

Instead, the President sided with the US Chamber of Commerce, echoing the very language they used in their letter scrambling to find justifications for why these polluting corporations wanted to put off essential protections for the lives and health of kids and seniors exposed to toxic air pollutants. The Chamber of Commerce, reveling in the power they are exercising in a post-Citizens United world of unlimited corporate cash in US elections, said:

U.S. Chamber Praises White House Decision to Withdraw Potentially Disastrous Ozone Standards
Donohue Calls Move a ‘Big First Step in What Needs to be a Broader Regulatory Reform Effort’. Source

This is after over a thousand people have been arrested in front of the White House, desperately trying to get President Obama to halt the Keystone XL pipeline that the nation’s top climate scientist said would be ‘game over’ for the climate, if built. A White House conspicuously without solar panels, that the Administration had promised to install by this spring. Another in a string of promises broken and priorities downgraded on the environmental front. As the protestors outside the White House have been singing, “Pick a side Obama”, and it appears that he has.

8 Responses to “President Obama Abandons Clean Air: Picks Polluters Over Sick and Dying American Kids.”


  1. 1 Christine Sep 3rd, 2011 at 12:45 am
  2. 2 Joellen Gilchrist Sep 3rd, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Those of us who worked for his election or voted for him need to tell him RIGHT NOW that we will not do either if he does not stop the tar sands pipeline. you can mention this latest dirty choice as well–that it goes against all he indicated he would be as president.

    He needs to hear this like a drum beat, and we need to mean it. We may as well suffer because of an all out climate denier who takes dirty money, than a sold out one.

    I plan to vote Green Party as a message re global warming if he signs on to the pipeline. A relative who worked for the Dem party for 3 yrs 15 yrs ago told me they were no different than the Republicans except on 2 issues. I don’t think he could say that now.

  3. 3 Nick Engelfried Sep 3rd, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    I simply don’t understand the president’s logic on this one. Aside from the obvious fact that he is putting the health and lives of thousands of people in jeopardy, abandoning the ozone rule just doesn’t seem to make political sense. Obama is making it more and more difficult for young people and environmentalists to support him. For me at least, it’s getting to the point where I feel like participating in a big way in Obama’s re-election campaign would cause me to lose credibility with the young people I organize with – something I’m not willing to do. This is no way to re-invigorate a movement.

    On the other hand, does Obama seriously think the polluting industries that are fighting tooth and nail to get him out of office are going to let up because he’s shelved this pollution rule? Of course that won’t happen – Big Oil, Big Coal, and their GOP allies are going to fight him as hard as ever, but now with the added assurance that their strategy for delaying health regulations is working.

    In other words, Obama is alienating his base while throwing a victory to the people who are trying to make him lose the 2012 election. How exactly does this make sense?

  4. 4 Lisa H Sep 3rd, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    I agree with you, but you have to realize the reality is – he is under pressure and who knows what threats have been made to get him to do this. I don’t think he has the power you are indicating he has.. Do you seriously think that he can just do what he wants? You don’t know the magnitude of the power these Oil cartel have on this country and the world. People have died unexpectedly due to threats in the oil industry. Besides if you vote Green party your handing the election over to the Republicans and that is far, far worse for the environment than what is going on now. You have to chose the least of the two evils.. I hate it is that way, but that is the reality. No way is a Green party going to win, it is too soon. It will happen, if we are patient and we play the game right. If you hand the election back over to the REP… we will go back to square one and regress even more. It’s happened before. Besides the Rep trying to run are overboard crazies… We can’t give in to these people.. This is what they want us to do is give up on Obama and vote Green or Liberal. The greatest power we have is to get off the oil dependency and buy less gas…

  5. 5 Brian Sep 4th, 2011 at 12:46 am

    Is Obama the weakest President ever?

    Presidents are supposed to lead. Not waffle. Fail to follow through with promise after promise. Always backing down.

    Or, ironically, one way to look at it is Obama did make a decision. By personally took charge of the EPA and decided what regulations and policies it will enact.

  6. 6 Starthrower Sep 5th, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    The only thing more reprehensible than the far right’s agenda is Obama’s spineless complicity.

  1. 1 With Ozone decision, President Obama spits on his own record and on the law … Trackback on Sep 2nd, 2011 at 9:17 pm
  2. 2 President Obama Abandons Clean Air: Picks Polluters Over Sick and Dying American Kids. « Only Ed Trackback on Sep 3rd, 2011 at 6:08 pm
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About Richard


Richard, VP, Business Development for Ethical Electric is a veteran of online organizing and online media, clean energy entrepreneurship, and mission-related investing. The founder of Fired Up Media and Editor of It's Getting Hot in Here, he served as VP of Project Finance for Solar Mosaic, the Online Organizer for the Webby-nominated, 17 million person TckTckTck campaign and as an angel investor in and board member to startups, such as Skyline Innovations, Faraday Bicycles, and SumofUs.org. He graduated from the Center for Progressive Leadership's Executive Fellowship and the NextGen Fellowship in Mission Related Investing, as well as Macalester College, where he developed the first student-led Clean Energy Revolving Fund. He also has been known to collect and use cooking equipment from around the world and might just make you something, if you ask nicely.

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