In the wake of Tuesday’s historic presidential victory, a newly reelected President Barack Obama can continue his efforts to protect our nation’s public health from the ravages of pollution. Voters rejected Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s high-profile campaign proposals to rely on antiquated, dirty, coal-fired power plants and overturn other new public health safeguards. The president’s new mandate provides his administration with the backing to complete unfinished Environmental Protection Agency safeguards before his inauguration on January 20, 2013, to a second term of office.
A number of vital proposed health safeguards from power plant, vehicle, and industrial pollution still linger in administrative limbo. It is unclear why these rules were held up, but now that the president will remain in the White House, this unfinished business must be completed. These actions would clear the regulatory slate, enabling the administration to address two big problems in its second term:
Reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants and other industrial sources
Strengthening the ozone smog health standard to provide more protection for children, seniors, and other vulnerable people