Back when he was Oklahoma’s attorney general, Scott Pruitt, the new head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, teamed up with lawyers representing the coal, oil, and cement industries to sue the EPA over federal ozone standards. Now Pruitt’s EPA appears to be backing away from defending the rule that limits ground-level ozone—a byproduct of fossil fuel pollution that produces smog and is linked to respiratory and heart ailments. The agency has asked a federal court to delay oral arguments in the lawsuit, claiming that more time is needed to “fully review” the smog rule. America’s skies may be hazy, but it’s clear that the EPA, under Pruitt’s direction, is protecting polluters instead of public health.
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Air Pollution: Everything You Need to Know
GuideUnited States, InternationalJillian Mackenzie, Jeff Turrentine
How smog, soot, greenhouse gases, and other top air pollutants are affecting the planet—and your health.
Scott Pruitt Wants to Take Us Back to the ’50s
ExplainerUnited StatesBrian Palmer
The incoming head of the EPA believes states should be in charge of their own environmental regulations. Been there, done that, got the oil-soaked T-shirt.