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Republican gutting of clean air gets knocked down by courts

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Big surprise, the GOP EPA didn't give a damn about Americans breathing bad air. How about thinking of the majority of Americans instead of the select few? Just imagine having some balance in politics next year...what a concept.

EPA's proposal to set an eight-hour standard for ozone emissions violates the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia court said in a 40-page ruling.

The ruling came in response to a suit filed by environmental groups, a local California air regulator and several states who wanted more stringent limits on smog.

At issue was the EPA's April 2004 ruling that 474 of the nation's 2,700 counties in 31 states have unacceptable levels of ground-level ozone, a major ingredient in unhealthy smog.

About 159 million Americans live in counties that violate the new standards, the agency said when it issued the rule.

"We vacate the 2004 Rule and remand the matter to EPA," the court said. "EPA has failed to heed the restrictions on its discretion set forth" in the Clean Air Act.

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