California Asks Extension for Ozone Standards

By November 21, 2007Energy

Outrageous. Governor Schwarzenegger should sue himself to compel compliance.

From The Associated Press, California.

FRESNO, Calif.—State air regulators are asking the federal government to grant them an 11-year extension to bring the San Joaquin Valley’s smoggy air in line with current federal ozone standards.

If approved, California’s farm belt will be the first region in the country to be granted the extra time by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Pollutants from tailpipes, smokestacks and livestock waste all contribute to smog in the valley, which is one of the nation’s dirtiest air basins.

The California Air Resources Board requested the extension from 2012 until 2023 on Friday. They say under their proposed plan 90 percent of valley towns would have clean air by 2018.

If, despite spending billions of dollars in compliance costs, California’s government agencies and the private sector are unable to meet even current standards, how could they conceivably hope to meet even tougher rules being considered by the EPA? What’s even more frustrating — and potentially devastating to America’s jobs and economy — is that the EPA is considering rules based on highly questionable science and that the agency, by law, cannot base its decision on a rational cost-benefit analysis.

The NAM supports the current rules as both effective in reducing air pollution and at least partially grounded in economic reality, i.e., possible for industry to adjust to. (NAM resources at But apparently California’s air quality regulators aren’t so sure about even that.

The pending EPA ozone regulations, if decided at the more stringent end of the possibilities, could destroy the U.S. economy. Why aren’t we hearing more about them?

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