New tougher rules on smog standards within the US – proposed on Wednesday by the American government’s environmental regulator – already have some questionning the timing.
The announcement came a day before Thanksgiving – arguably the biggest holiday in the US – when millions of Americans turn their attention to football and turkey rather than the news.
Predictably, groups like the Sierra Club are applauding the move, which proposes ozone [the main component of smog] standards be lowered to 65-70 parts per billion as opposed to its current 75.
Republican politicians and manufacturing organisations are denouncing the plan as a job annihilator.
This comes as a Republican Congress is set to take over in January, with a vow to fight US President Barack Obama on basically everything. The timing wasn’t lost on them.
Michael Steel, spokesperson for Republican House Speaker John Boehner, told DC Dispatch: “This job-killing new regulation was clearly announced at a time designed to garner the least possible attention because it’s clear the American people don’t support it.”
Polls show the American people actually side with the president on many environmental issues, but it’s clear the White House is hoping this issue will escape public scrutiny.
Political analyst Kyle Kondik puts a little less partisan spin on it: “When you release something the day before Thanksgiving, you basically are saying that you don’t want it to get a lot of attention.”