EPA’s Ozone Regulations Would Choke the Economy

The Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy report we cited below , “The Impact of Regulatory Costs on Small Firms,” did not take into account the Bush Administration’s 2008 ozone regulations (reducing the ambient air quality standard to 75 parts per billion), nor the Obama Administration’s proposed regulations, which could lower the standard to 60 ppb.

It’s safe to say those regulations will be expensive. Bet small business gets hit the hardest.

From The Oil and Gas Journal, “Proposed ozone standard would devastate US economy, API warns“:

WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 21 — A US Environmental Protection Agency proposal to reduce the national primary ozone standard to 60 ppb from 75 ppb would devastate the US economy by forcing most of the country to meet stringent standards which now are imposed of its most heavily populated areas, the American Petroleum Institute warned.

“We all know that EPA cannot consider economics in considering standards,” Howard Feldman, API’s director of regulatory and scientific affairs, said in a Sept. 21 teleconference with reporters. “But it cannot ignore them. There’s a real cost and real significance to this.”

The story builds on the NAM-API co-sponsored report, “Economic Implications of EPA’s Proposed Ozone Standard (ER-707. The analysis by Donald A. Norman, Ph.D., Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI economist, concluded:

  • GDP would be reduced by $676.8 billion in 2020 (in 2010 dollars), an amount that represents 3.6 percent of projected 2020 GDP in the baseline case (2.5 percent annual GDP growth);
  • Total U.S. job losses attributable to a 60 ppb ozone standard are estimated to rise to 7.3 million by 2020, a figure equal to 4.3 percent of the projected 2020 labor force;
  • Together, annual attainment costs and reduced GDP in 2020 would total $1.7 trillion.

API’s Feldman raises another an angle we hadn’t considered: Unreasonably stringent ozone rules represent yet another move again U.S. energy security, including the tremendous promise shown by natural gas development of such areas as the Marcellus Shale: “Clearly, natural gas drilling is increasing across the country, and we expect that to continue…As more of it moves into areas such as Pennsylvania which would not meet these new standards, it would require extra costs and controls. The states also would have to offset these emissions.”

Earlier posts:

Posts from API, Energy Tomorrow blog:

  • EPA Ozone Standards Based on Politics, Not Science – Energy …
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