The Obama administration will be tightening national smog standards, angering manufacturers who will now be burdened with billions of dollars in costs and irking environmentalists who think the regulation doesn’t go far enough.
“Today, the Obama Administration finalized a rule that is overly burdensome, costly and misguided,” Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, said in a statement. “The new ozone standard will inflict pain on companies that build things in America-and destroy job opportunities for American workers.”
EPA will tighten smog, or ground-level ozone, limits from 75 parts per billion to 70 parts per billion. The agency argues tightening ozone standards is necessary to protect public health — despite the fact that states have not fully complied with the current ozone standards.
While the EPA did not tighten ozone standards as low as environmental groups were pushing for, the regulation could still end up being one of the costliest ever imposed on the U.S. economy, according to a report by NAM examining the economic impacts of lowering smog limits to 65 parts per billion. By 2040, tightened ozone standards could end up costing $1.7 trillion dollars and killing 1.4 million jobs, according to the study. The EPA did not actually go to a 65 parts per billion standard, but NAM maintains the rule will still be extremely expensive.
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