The EPA’s Ozone Rule, Regulating Against Seven Million Jobs

By September 15, 2010Energy, Regulations

The Environmental Protection Agency’s drive to increase regulation of economy activity, starting with its proposed greenhouse gas regulations, is so expansive and so aggressive that much is what it’s doing is escaping real scrutiny. But the EPA’s agenda is a jobs-killer and the public needs to know about it.

Take the EPA’s latest move to lower ozone limits, regulations that a new economic analysis says could destroy more than seven million jobs.

Starting about four years ago, the EPA sought to reduce the national standards for ground-level ozone, a basic component of smog. In March 2008, the Bush Administration imposed a standard of 75 parts per billion, putting hundreds of counties out of compliance and adding billions of dollars of compliance costs to manufacturers, retailers, government and others.

Then, this January, even before those new, very strict and very expensive standards went into full effect, the EPA proposed even more stringent ozone regulations – with a huge impact on the economy and jobs.

The economists at the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI have just released a study that quantifies that impact, and the results are shocking.

The new report, “Economic Implications of EPA’s Proposed Ozone Standard,” concludes that reaching the proposed level of 60 parts per billion would:

  • Impose annual compliance costs of $1 trillion between 2020 and 2030. One trillion dollars!
  • And total U.S. job losses attributable to a 60 ppb would be 7.3 million by 2020. That’s more than 4 percent of the labor force projected for 2020.
  • Big states with large manufacturing sectors would be the hardest hit. The ozone regs would cost Texas 1.7 million jobs, Louisiana, 983,000 jobs, California, 846,000 jobs, etc.

Unemployment right now is 9.6 percent, and yet the EPA is moving forward with regulations that will crush economic growth and hiring. The environmental arguments for the regulations are debatable, at best, but the agency pushes on.

The Obama Administration has made job creation a priority, the centerpiece of its economic proposals. But at the same time, the Administration’s EPA is proposing regulations that would destroy seven million jobs!

You cannot credibly claim to be for new jobs and then lead a regulatory campaign that eliminates existing ones.

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