The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) applauds Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Representatives Pete Olson (R-TX) and Bob Latta (R-OH) for proposing a reasonable approach to ozone regulations that would provide necessary relief to manufacturers who already pay, on average, $19,500 per employee, per year in regulatory costs according to a recent NAM study. In three months, these costs could increase substantially as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to propose a new ozone air quality standard that could be more expensive than any single existing regulation.
The NAM has continually encouraged policymakers to adopt reasonable policies that promote a clean environment while allowing manufacturers to remain competitive in the global marketplace. The Clean Air, Strong Economies (CASE) Act does exactly that. It would ensure that air quality continues to improve while giving states and counties time to meet the existing standards without adding another layer of regulatory burdens; ensure that economically stifling nonattainment designations are only made if there is accurate monitored data to support such findings; require EPA to consider all impacts to the public before proposing a tighter standard including health, environmental and economic; and require the EPA to include at least one analysis that presents to the public the benefits of reducing ozone levels – the purpose of the regulation – without any of the so called co-benefits from other pollutants already covered under other programs.
In July, the NAM released a study that found a tighter ozone standard could cost the economy trillions of dollars and millions of jobs. One of the most disturbing findings from the study was that EPA has only identified one-third of the necessary controls to meet the low-end of the standard it is considering; classifying the remaining two-thirds of necessary controls as “unknown”. While little question exists regarding how massively expensive such a regulations would be (EPA’s own estimate would still make it the most expensive regulation of all time), there are legitimate concerns regarding whether a significantly lower ozone standard is even achievable in many parts of the country, regardless of costs.
Senator Thune’s and Representatives Olson’s and Latta’s CASE Act ensures that two important trends are permitted to continue: improving air quality and a growing economy. The NAM looks forward to working with Senator Thune, Representatives Olson and Latta, cosponsoring members of congress, and all members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to pass this important legislation.
Senate cosponsors include, Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), David Vitter (R-Louisiana), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Roy Blunt (R- Missouri), Dan Coats (R-Indiana), Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska), Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska), Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), and Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi).
House cosponsors include, Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), John Shimkus (R-Illinois), Randy Weber (R-Texas), Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), Bill Flores (R-Texas), Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Ralph Hall (R-Texas), Tom McClintock (R-California), Randy Hultgren (R-Illinois), Scott Tipton (R-Colorado), David McKinley R-West Virginia), Jason Smith (R-Missouri), Walter Jones (R-North Carolina), Kristi Noem (R-South Dakota), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming), Mike Pompeo R-Kansas), Gregg Harper (R-Mississippi), Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Billy Long (R-Missouri), and Bill Johnson (R-Ohio).