Matt Dempsey   (202) 224-9797

David Lungren  (202) 224-5642

Inhofe Says EPA Proposal Will Keep Americans Out of Work, Threaten Economic Recovery

Ozone Proposal Likely To Hobble Local Communities in Oklahoma, Across the Nation

Washington, D.C.-Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today said that the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed revision to the ozone standard would, if finalized, stifle the nation's ability to lower the 10 percent unemployment rate and hinder economic recovery. If EPA follows through on its decision, thousands of state and local communities across the nation would be shackled with the weight of yet another burdensome Obama Administration regulation.  Moreover, at least fifteen counties in Oklahoma-Adair, Caddo, Canadian, Cherokee, Cleveland, Creek, Dewey, Kay, Mayes, McClain, Oklahoma, Ottawa, Pittsburg, Sequoyah, and Tulsa-would face new restrictions on economic growth and development.

"The Obama Administration's proposal, if finalized, will keep unemployment high and put another Washington-based regulation in the way of economic recovery," Senator Inhofe said. "This action could impose severe restrictions on growth and economic development in cities and towns across the nation.  We all support cleaner air, but here's where the Obama EPA and I disagree: it shouldn't come at the expense of people's jobs or the economy.  

"The Obama EPA proposal comes despite Oklahoma's tremendous progress in reducing air pollution. In fact, today, no county in Oklahoma is designated as ‘non-attainment' with the existing ozone standard. But if EPA finalizes its proposal, 15 counties will face stiff new federal penalties-all because the Obama Administration doesn't think our air is clean enough." 


The agency is proposing to set the "primary" standard, which protects public health, at a level between 0.060 and 0.070 parts per million (ppm) measured over eight hours.  EPA is also proposing to set a separate "secondary" standard to protect the environment, especially plants and trees. EPA will take public comment for 60 days after the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register. The agency will hold three public hearings on the proposal: Feb. 2, 2010 in Arlington, VA. and in Houston, TX; and Feb. 4, 2010 in Sacramento, CA.