"The Obama administration proposed stricter standards to control harmful soot from heavy industry on Friday, a move expected to save lives but which drew criticism from Republicans and industry worried the costs of compliance will hurt the economy."
"Under a court order, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed tightening exposure to the particulate pollution that threatens the elderly, people with heart disease, and children.
The move was welcomed by environmental groups, an important part of President Barack Obama's base of support. But it will give more fuel to Republicans who have staged sharp attacks on the EPA as the November 6 presidential and congressional elections draw nearer.
The standard would cut fine-particle soot to between 12 and 13 micrograms per cubic meter of air from 15 micrograms. The EPA said the cost of compliance would be more than offset by healthcare savings."
Timothy Gardner and John Crawley report for Reuters June 18, 2012.