Ozone Rules: Costing Jobs, and For What?

By December 10, 2007Energy

NAM President John Engler was in Ohio recently to meet with Governor Ted Strickland — a good meeting, we understand — and visit with the board of directors of the Ohio Manufacturers Association. A major topic in both sessions was the EPA’s forthcoming regulations governing ground-level ozone emissions, a contributor to smog. (Here’s a news brief on the session with the governor. And another brief.)

Mark Kilmer of the Buckeye Institute has been doing some good work on the topic, including in this op-ed, “Ozone Regulations Target Ohio Economy.” Mark notes that major air pollutants have been dropping under current rules, and yet the EPA now wants an even stricter standard:

There are two questions policymakers should consider before supporting new air pollution regulations: is this regulation the best way to clean the air? And, are the benefits from the new regulation worth the costs the economy would suffer? For the proposed ozone regulations, the answer to both questions appears to be “no.”

This answer is especially true when one considers the cost of new regulations. Meeting current ozone standards costs our economy around $20 billion a year. The amount would increase if the current standards are made even tougher. These burdensome regulations would be especially devastating in Ohio. The state has experienced a loss of almost 250,000 manufacturing jobs since 2000. Strict new ozone regulations would hit the state’s manufacturing sector hard, likely leading to even more of these jobs leaving the state.

And here’s the Buckeye Institute’s podcast on the topic.

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