Kristina Baum – 202.224.6176

Donelle Harder – 202.224.1282

Inhofe: EPA is senselessly pulling rug out from under states with ozone standards

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today released the following statement about the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) report titled, “Economic Impacts of a 65 ppb National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for Ozone:"

“The National Association of Manufacturers report released today on the proposed ozone standard continues to confirm that this will be one of the costliest regulations issued by the EPA in our nation’s history. In a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday, Adm. Gina McCarthy justified the agency’s actions to inflict unnecessary pain on the American economy by saying it was the duty of the agency to adjust the standard.  In my reading of the Clean Air Act, the only marching orders the EPA is bound to on ozone standards are to monitor and review the effectiveness of the standard set in 2008 – which isn’t even fully implemented yet.  The EPA is not bound by law to change the standards during the course of every review.  Instead of following the guidance in CAA, the agency’s agenda will senselessly pull the rug out from under states who are still struggling to comply with the last standard of 75ppb.  Roughly 40 percent of the population continues to live in areas not in attainment of the current standard, yet the administration is plowing ahead as they seek comments on reducing the ozone standard to a radical 60 ppb.  Even if the standard is set at 65 ppb, the NAM study shows that economic growth will come to a grinding halt.  The entire state of Oklahoma will be out of attainment.  In Oklahoma, this regulation could result in $18 billion loss in gross state product, jeopardize 35,000 jobs and inflict $35 billion in total compliance costs.  Our economy is still fragile and in no better shape now to handle a $3 trillion rule than it was in 2011 when the president put a halt on the proposal over concerns for the economic recovery.  I am committed to working with my colleges in Congress to put a halt on this misguided agenda at the EPA.”

The analysis was released on Thursday, which stated that the EPA’s proposed ozone regulation could reduce U.S. GDP by $140 billion per year, result in 1.4 million fewer job equivalents on average through 2040, and cost the average U.S. household $830 per year in the form of lost consumption.