White House signals it will not defend Obama-era smog rules

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive.

Dive Brief:

  • The White House signaled last week it will not defend Obama-era smog restrictions in an ongoing case at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has asked the D.C. Circuit to postpone oral arguments slated for next week, allowing it time to "fully review" the rules. The limits were passed in 2015 to tighten standards on ozone — a main ingredient in smog — from 75 parts per billion (ppb), to 70 ppb. 
  • Also last week, nearly two dozen senators have sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, demanding the agency explain how it intends to address greenhouse gas emissions as it reviews the Clean Power Plan, President Obama's signature carbon regulation.