The EPA finalized a new rule to curb industrial pollution this summer; three months later, the agency has proposed to loosen the restrictions in 10 of 27 affected states. The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, meant to cut power-plant emissions that can blow across state lines, has faced sharp criticism from the industry and the states themselves, who argue the measure could cut jobs and rattle the power supply.
Now, the EPA proposes to allow more emissions from 10 states while giving all 27 states until 2014— two more years than planned—before incurring penalties, the Wall Street Journal reports. The "slight" adjustments to the rule should provide "certainty for utilities as we work together to ensure that we protect the air we all breathe and the jobs of American workers," the agency said. But for some critics, the EPA hasn't shifted enough. The Obama administration "effectively concedes that its rules were flawed—but inexplicably refuses to resolve the real defects," says Texas' attorney general. (Read more Environmental Protection Agency stories.)