Obama postponed the revision to the ozone standard today.  It’s the right move for now.

Everyone wants clean air.  The questions are how much it costs and who pays?  We have a convoluted accretion of decades-long regulatory mechanisms that have very high costs to companies in pollution control and compliance (that require resource reallocation away from income-generating production) and high costs to state governments (i.e., state taxpayers) to implement ozone control programs.  Postponement while we work our way through this recession is realistic.

What we really need is to redesign how we achieve pollution reduction most efficiently and move toward products and processes that are made and used sustainably.  EPA reviewing a list of 35 individual regulations will not address the fundamental structural problems we have with our media-based patchwork of laws and regulations.  If only we could start over and create a better system based on sustainability principles and work out a rational transition process to get there....

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