The Obama version of the EPA is examining smog-related rulings from the Bush version of the EPA. The Bush EPA held off on smog rlings for most of eight years, then issued them last spring. They set less stringent regs than the science staff at EPA recommended. The current EPA expects to come up with the new rules this year and they would take effect next August. Of course, there'll be numerous lawsuits to bar this move. Expect U.S. Senators from coal and oil states to push for some law barring the EPA's move. This will be become an even more meaningful battle about the health of the planet that anything in or out of the so-called "American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009." That "act" is really caught in inACTion, somewhere deep in the Senate calendar.
Smog rulings will directly affect the auto industry, utilities, oil and coal and natural gas, and numerous industries that emit CO2 from steel to cement to breweries.
The current administration believes the Bush administration's smog ruling did not comply with the nation's air pollution laws. Opponents of tougher air pollution regs are claiming--as always--that we can't afford cleaner air. Regulations will cost money. Among those complaining: the sadly impoverished oil companies.