Roll Call has published an op-ed by Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) and Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, citing the EPA’s pending limits on ground-level ozone and industrial boiler emissions (the Boiler MACT rule) as an example of excessive regulation that slows economic growth and damages jobs creation.
Manufacturers have also been alarmed by two proposals that have generated less public attention but could still wreak economic damage: lower limits on ground-level ozone and emissions controls on industrial boilers.
New rules for ozone would supersede lower emission limits adopted just two years ago, with compliance costs that EPA acknowledges could near $90 billion annually by 2020. Democratic and Republican senators and governors from industrial states have criticized this rulemaking as a “financial and regulatory burden” that would “create additional barriers to job creation and industry growth.”
Industrial boilers play a critical role in our economy, generating power for companies large and small, as well as municipalities and universities. The EPA has proposed dramatic new rules that skirt cost-benefit analysis and would be impossible for many existing facilities even to meet. The forest products industry, which makes extensive use of boiler-generated energy, would be hit especially hard, facing estimated costs of $7 billion.
None of our international competitors confronts standards such as these, which will only drive more jobs offshore. Industry studies demonstrate that hundreds of thousands of jobs may be at risk if this rule is adopted. The Administration’s own Commerce Department has produced a study that concludes the draft rule could cost the United States 40,000 to 60,000 jobs a year.
Since the column was written, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted the EPA a one-month extension to issue the final Boiler MACT rule (deadline is now February 21, 2011). The EPA had requested a 15-month extension to re-propose the rule to consider new information about the achievability of the regulations.
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