Federal court upholds Bush-era smog standard

WASHINGTON — A federal court has upheld a 2008 air pollution standard the Obama administration vowed to strengthen, but later reversed itself and kept in place.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington on Tuesday rejected arguments that the ozone standard for public health set by former President George W. Bush was either too weak or too strong. EPA’s scientific advisory panel at the time said the standard should have been more stringent.

But referencing Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the court said it cannot demand EPA get things “just right.”

The Obama administration proposed in January 2010 to tighten the smog standard at a cost of $90 billion a year. But 18 months later, the White House tabled the plans after businesses and congressional Republicans said it would harm the economy.

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