The EPA had aimed to reduce the acceptable level of ozone in any given region from 75 parts per billion to between 60 and 70 parts per billion. If they were implemented, the regulations would have forced local governments that fail to attain this goal to develop their ozone-reduction plans.

On Friday, however, Obama announced that he doesn’t support the regulations. “The President has instructed me to return this rule to you for reconsideration,” Obama’s regulatory czar Cass Sunstein wrote to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson. “He has made it clear that he does not support finalizing the rule at this time.”

Sunstein wrote that Obama has told him to “work closely with all executive agencies and departments” to “implement” the president’s executive order aimed at cutting back on regulations. “The President has instructed me to give careful scrutiny to all regulations that impose significant costs on the private sector or on state, local or tribal governments,” Sunstein’s letter explains.

The EPA ultimatum comes mere hours after August jobs numbers came out showing a net total of zero new jobs in August.

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