To President Obama on Behalf of the Environmental Defense Action Fund

Dear Mr. President,

I am so proud to be an American with such an intelligent and forward-visioning president at the helm of our country. Thank you for all you and your team do every day on behalf of every one of us.

Sir, please reconsider your decision to withdraw the important new smog standard that has been years in the making. If not now, when? If not you, who? While it will clearly and admittedly be a costly requirement for the business community from a strictly short-term analysis, and therefore not the right time from the perspective of the business community, to enact the tabled clean-air procedures, I and tens of thousands of my fellow citizens urge you to consider this issue again from a purely rational, long-term cost-benefit analysis rather than the short-sighted approach so regularly used by the business community, with such tragic results for their wider stakeholder communities.

PLEASE consider again what is the greater cost to the whole of society, and not just the business community, of this decision. From a long-term cost-benefit analysis, is it actually prudent and conservative, and wise stewardship, to continue the policies that have created and are creating the health troubles and tragedies resulting from poor air quality, and all the societal costs associated with these? The business community doesn't bear these costs. To this limited community these are transaction spillovers, costs external to their costs of doing business. Of course they would rather these costs not be there, but because they are not held responsible for them, it doesn't really matter. But our society, and the government that serves it, does bear these costs directly. So what's the right way to deal with them from a social justice and far-sighted economic perspective?

Unfortunately, ever since the Ford vs. the Dodge Brothers Michigan Supreme Court decision nearly a century ago, the for-profit business community in this country, particularly but not only the...