But Sunstein said observers should not draw larger conclusions based on the ozone action, which was Obama’s personal decision. The president’s arguments, Sunstein added, “are very distinctive to the discussion of ozone.”
In some ways, the ozone regulation was easier to jettison than others, because it will come up for review again in 2013 and other air-quality rules could achieve some of the same outcomes. Key industries had made powerful economic arguments against it, warning the White House that they might not open new facilities out of concern that the standards would block their operating permits.
Natural-gas companies, for example, argued to the administration that the rule might hamper their ability to take advantage of newly accessible natural-gas reserves.
Cal Dooley, president and chief executive of the American Chemical Council, said his members made it clear that they were “really poised to make billions of dollars in investments in the United States.”