The EPAhas been considering new national health standards on ozone and smog. With about six weeks before they announce their decision, the White House has been meeting with some of "the biggest and nastiest polluters," according to Frank O’Donnell, president of the environmental watchdog Clean Air Watch. More private meetings! I thought we’d have enough of this.
On its face, the decision on ozone and smog shouldn’t be a tough one. The health evidence is overwhelming that tougher smog standards are needed to protect children with asthma and millions of other Americans. EPA’s own independent scientific advisers are unanimous in support of tougher rules. But last Friday, OMB recorded that several oil industry consultants came to meet with administration figures on the new rules. Anne Smith of CRA International came representing the American Petroleum Institute and Teresa Gorman of LPI Consulting and Bingham McCutchen representing ExxonMobil on clean air regulatory issues. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little transparency about what was discussed?