A coalition of 60 conservation organizations said the Environmental Protection Agency’s ozone rule will hurt the U.S. economy and will cost jobs.
The coalition, led by Americans for Prosperity, wrote the benefits of EPA’s recently updated ozone standards under the National Ambient Air Quality Standard are outweighed by the standard’s “certain economic costs,” pointing to the EPA’s estimate $1.4 billion annual price tag to implement the rule.
“The only way EPA could justify the regulation was to use questionable cobenefits,” according to the Monday letter addressed to House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.). “In reducing ozone, there may also be benefits from reductions of other pollutants, in this case particulate matter (PM). However, the EPA already has another set of regulations dealing exclusively with PM. Either the EPA has woefully inadequate standards for PM or it is effectively ‘double counting’ the health benefits of PM reductions to justify the ozone regulation.”
In October, the EPA issued a final rule updating the National Ambient Air Quality Standard to 70 parts per billion, stricter than a March 2008 rule that set the standard at 75 parts per billion. The EPA says the new mandate will improve public health and air quality.
The coalition, which includes Freedom Partners and the American Energy Alliance, also wrote the stricter regulation comes as states are still working to comply with the 2008 ozone rule. Groups support a measure introduced by Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas) that would prevent states from implementing the 2008 and 2015 ozone standards at the same time and would increase the mandatory review of National Ambient Air Quality Standards from 5 years to 10 years.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the the National Association of Manufacturers both filed lawsuits against EPA over the rule. Five states, including Arizona, also challenged the rule.