The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing much tighter federal standards for ground-level ozone. These regulations will punish the West for emissions we did not create, including pollution from China and wildfires from California, while simultaneously driving industries out of America and into countries such as China, which have very few clean air protections. Accordingly, the EPA's ozone plan will actually do more harm than good.
This doesn't make sense, which is why President Barack Obama rejected a similar plan in 2011. I previously served as chair of EPA's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, and I applauded the president's common-sense decision four years ago. But now, the White House and new advisers at the EPA are pushing the same idea all over again. A decision is due by Oct. 1.
Environmental groups want the EPA to replace the existing ozone standard of 75 parts per billion — set in 2008 — with a much stricter limit, somewhere between 65 and 70 ppb. Ozone-forming emissions come from many sources, including cars, trucks, factories, farms, power plants, energy production and even vegetation. That means lowering the standard will have impacts all across the nation's economy. It could cost roughly $140 billion annually, according to the National Association of Manufacturers, making it the most expensive federal regulation ever.
Imposing these tremendous costs does not make sense when you consider how far the nation has come on air quality issues. Ozone levels have fallen 33 percent nationally since 1980. The EPA even concedes ozone levels will keep falling based on regulations we already have.Read more by clicking here.
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