CNNMoney has the latest on President Obama's surprising move Friday to back off tightening clean-air standards. The EPA proposal was heavily criticized by Republicans, who argued stricter regulations would slow down job growth:
From CNNMONEY's Steve Hargreaves
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - After weeks of Republican attacks on the Obama administration's tightening of environmental regulations, the president said Friday he would halt a planned increase in clean air standards.
In a statement released just hours after the U.S. Labor Department said the economy created no new jobs in August, Obama said he told Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson to withdraw the draft Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
While stressing his environmental record, Obama said he has "continued to underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover."
Needless to say, environmentalists, who had considered the president an ally, expressed their anger with the move:
"The White House is siding with corporate polluters over the American people," Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement. "Our public officials, including in the White House, serve to protect us from harm. They need to get on with doing their jobs."