New EPA Ozone Rules Will Cost Jobs

Jul 19, 2011

SmokestackWith ozone regulations, we need a common-sense balance between improving air quality and allowing businesses to create jobs. The ozone standard set in 2008 found that balance, but EPA is rushing through a new standard now instead of going through the normal five-year process prescribed by law.

Today, Bruce Josten, the Chamber’s executive vice president for Government Affairs, joined other business groups, including the Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufactures, American Petroleum Institute, and the American Chemistry Council, in asking the White House to delay EPA's new ozone standards until 2013.

He told reporters, "These new out-of-cycle EPA standards create tremendous uncertainty and threaten business investment decisions and hiring decisions. Our main focus is to create jobs for all American workers.  But when the private sector is burdened with unnecessary regulations, businesses can’t invest and hire."

According to EPA's own estimates, lowering the ozone standard from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to somewhere around 65 ppb would cost $52 billion to $90 billion per year.

The Business Roundtable created a map to show how EPA's new rules will effect states and counties. As you can see, areas meeting current standards would become non-compliant and subject to more job-killing regulations. That includes:

[A] rule that [affected communities] have to tear down one or more buildings before they can build a new one.

“So you wind up scaling down,” [The Chamber's Ross Eisenberg] said. “You’re having less business at that point. You’re taking more away than you’re adding.”

That will kill economic growth and jobs.

This video reminds us that EPA doesn't care about jobs when they issues rules, so it's up to the White House to bring some balance and regulatory certainty.

“The President has a chance to show he’s serious about his stated goal of improving regulations and creating jobs,” said API President and CEO Jack Gerard.  “This action is discretionary – no law or court is compelling action – and would clearly harm job creation and economic growth, all at a time when air quality continues to improve under the existing standards."

EPA should continue gathering scientific information, perform proper analysis, and wait until 2013, the five year interval for review, before reevaluating the ozone standard so as to provide regulatory certainty to the states and businesses that have already began implementation of the 2008 standard.

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