WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration took steps Wednesday to cut levels of smog-forming pollution linked to asthma, lung damage and other health problems, making good on one of President Barack Obama’s original campaign promises while setting up a fresh confrontation with Republicans and the energy industry.

In a long-awaited announcement, the Environmental Protection Agency said it prefers a new, lower threshold for ozone pollution of 65 to 70 parts per billion, but said it would take public comments on an even lower standard of 60 parts per billion sought by environmental groups. The current standard is 75 parts per billion, put in place by President George W. Bush in 2008.

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