Below are highlights from a speech given by Howard Feldman, API Senior Director of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs on US ozone standards.
“We urge the administration to keep the current standards, which are not only the strictest standards ever imposed; they have yet to be fully implemented. Fundamentally, we question the wisdom and the motivation behind burdening our nation’s still recovering economy and the American consumer with more, costly regulations before the current regulations have been given time to work. The truth is this rule could be the costliest regulation ever imposed on the American public. A lower standard could, for little or no health benefit, significantly constraint our nation’s economy and eliminate thousands of jobs.”
“The facts are clear: the current standards protect our environment. Peer reviewed science confirms that the current standards are protecting public health. The nation’s air is getting cleaner. And air quality will continue to improve as we implement the existing standards.
“Ground level ozone in the US declined by 18% between 2000 and 2013, and we expect that progress to continue under the current standards. Further tightening of the standards wouldn’t necessarily improve air quality any faster but could significantly impact US jobs and the economy. At a standard of 65 ppb, 45 out of the lower 48 states would have areas that could be out of compliance. At a standard of 60 ppb, 46 out of the lower 48 states could have areas out of compliance. And lower the standard to 60 ppb, which the EPA is taking comment on and could possibly promulgate, could, according to a report by NERA Economic Consulting, cost our economy US$270 billion/y and place millions of jobs at risk.
“The fact is, as proposed, the new standards could impose unachievable emissions reduction requirements on virtually every part of the nation, including rural and undeveloped areas. Even pristine areas with no industrial activity such as national parks could be out of attainment. In fact, the new standard seeks to achieve ozone levels that approach or are even lower than naturally occurring levels, in some areas, which could effectively prohibit new economic activity. States would have to place new restrictions on businesses of all sizes and add additional bureaucratic red tape to the permitting process for public work projects.
“These new rules could prevent communities from improving their infrastructure such as highways or waste treatment facilities. That would be the real world impact of this proposed rule. If President Obama is serious about lifting up the middle class and closing the income inequality gap, the last thing his administration should do is threaten jobs and our energy and manufacturing renaissance with unnecessary new regulations.”
Edited from speech by Claira Lloyd