Smoggy Denver
Smog in the Denver area


September 2, 2011

Bruce Pendery, Wyoming Outdoor Council, 435-752-2111; 435-760-6217; bruce@wyomingoutdoorcouncil.org

Wyoming Outdoor Council calls the decision ‘distressing’

Lander, Wyo. — President Barack Obama announced on Friday that the Environmental Protection Agency will abandon its plan to strengthen air-quality rules — as had been unanimously recommended by an expert advisory group of air quality scientists and medical professionals.

Observers had expected the EPA to issue the new regulations sometime this summer, in an effort to reduce industrial emissions of the chemicals that cause smog and dangerous ground-level ozone pollution, which can be especially harmful to children, the elderly, and those with respiratory difficulties, such as asthma.

The New York Times reported that this decision by Obama came “after an intense lobbying campaign by industry, which said the new rule would cost billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs.”

“This decision is distressing,” said Bruce Pendery with the Wyoming Outdoor Council.

The Wyoming Outdoor Council has worked for years, along with citizens in the Pinedale area, to raise awareness about dangerous levels of ozone pollution there, and about the need to strengthen protections for the people who live and work in the area.

“You’ll hear people try to make the argument that these regulations will hurt the economy and cost jobs, etc.” Pendery said. “Industry lobbyists have made these same arguments about every commonsense pollution control since the Nixon administration — and the sky has never fallen like they claimed it would. And we’ve all benefited from cleaner air and water.”

“But more importantly — and our members remind us of this all the time — it’s not enough just to have jobs,” Pendery said. “We also have to make sure those workers, their families, and their communities are safe and they’re not being harmed by the industrial development.”


West Edge