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June 21, 2015

Please Join National Association Of Manufacturers’ Campaign To Highlight Cost Of EPA Ozone Regulation

As MSCI has reported previously, according to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), new ozone standards proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would cost the economy up to $140 billion a year. (Click here to read NAM’s cost estimate.) That figure would make this regulation the costliest in American history. Specifically, NAM’s study found the new standards would:

  • Reduce U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by $140 billion per year and by a cumulative $1.7 trillion between 2017 and 2040;
  • Result in 1.4 million fewer job equivalents per year on average through 2040; and
  • Cost the average U.S. household $830 per year in the form of lost consumption.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has also outlined the cost and impact of this rule, noting that the rule would “cause large parts of the country to fall into nonattainment.” What happens to localities that fall into this category? According the U.S. Chamber, “Counties and areas classified as nonattainment can suffer stringent penalties; including: (1) EPA overriding states on permitting decisions; (2) new facilities and major modifications having to install the most effective emission reduction technologies without consideration of cost; and (3) federally supported highway and transportation projects being suspended.” 

U.S. states and localities and U.S. consumers would pay these costs despite the fact that the vast majority of Americans say they already have very good air quality where they live. According to a NAM poll that was released last week:

  • 67 percent of Americans rate their local air quality as excellent or good;
  • More Americans (66 percent) think that a bigger problem for their local area is “less economic growth and job opportunities caused by regulations” than “lower air quality caused by pollution” (23 percent);
  • 78 percent of Americans believe the new standard would increase costs on everyday goods and services;
  • 76 percent of Americans believe it would increase their taxes;
  • 65 percent believe it would make it harder for local businesses to start or grow;
  • 75 percent of Americans prefer that decisions about federal air quality be made locally; and
  • Only 18 percent of Americans think the federal government should have more of a say over air quality regulations in their state or local area.

As such, more than half of those who responded to the poll said they oppose stricter federal environmental regulations on local businesses. 

MSCI is working with NAM to oppose the new ozone mandate and last week signed onto a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to keep the current standard in place. MSCI also urges its members to take action. Our members can use the NAM website to send messages to their governors, mayors, representatives and senators explaining the detrimental consequences of a stricter ozone standard and telling them to oppose it publicly. (To use the website, you must first register.) 

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are also working to address the costs of this rule, and others, as they pass the annual appropriations bills needed to fund the federal government for fiscal year 2016. The Senate Appropriations Committee last week passed a funding bill for the EPA and the Department of Interior that would keep the ozone rule, and other proposed EPA regulations, from moving forward. U.S. House appropriators are also trying to limit the EPA rules through in their versions of the annual spending bills. House lawmakers are also trying to use the spending process to roll back the National Labor Relations Board’s ambush elections rule.