U.S. Senate Democrats said in a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama that a decision to delay new ozone standards from the Environmental Protection Agency was disappointing.
The White House is considering tightening ozone standards of 75 parts per billion as enacted by U.S. President George W. Bush.
But more than 170 businesses and business groups, led by the American Petroleum Institute, said in their own letter that the EPA standard was the wrong policy at the wrong time.
Howard Feldman, director of regulatory and scientific policy at the API, said Obama could make a strong statement by holding the new measures back.
"Air quality has and continues to improve under existing ozone standards," Feldman said in a statement. "There's no need to move the goalposts now in the middle of game."
The letter to Obama added the EPA standards would have a damaging effect on the economy.