Inhofe Statement on Tightened Ozone Standard Published in Federal Register

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, released the following statement after publication of the Obama administration’s final rule lowering the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) in the Federal Register this morning:

“The ozone standard should have been maintained at 75 ppb until more areas of our country were able to comply. The United States has cut ozone-forming emissions by half since 1980, and the trend would have continued without another frivolous and costly mandate. While my state of Oklahoma would currently be considered in attainment under the new standard, there is no room to accommodate a summer heat wave or other natural ozone increases that could take place. Violation of the new standard will compromise economic development as well as stall access to federal highway dollars desperately needed to improve our nation’s crumbling roads and bridges.  As an original cosponsor of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments and the Clear Skies Act of 2003, I have always been an advocate of cleaner air, but this new regulation was unnecessary. I will be working with my Senate colleagues in pursuing legislation to protect American taxpayers from EPA’s aggressive regulatory agenda.” 

On Oct. 1, Inhofe released a statement following EPA’s announcement of the final rule to lower the NAAQS for Ground-Level Ozone from 75 ppb to 70 ppb.

On Sept. 29, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing entitled, Economy-wide Implications of President Obama’s Air Agenda. Janet McCabe, the acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation at EPA, was the witness.

On Jun. 3, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing entitled, Challenges and Implications of EPA’s Proposed National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Ground-Level Ozone and Legislative Hearing on S. 638, S. 751, and S. 640. 

Inhofe is a co-sponsor of S. 638, which amends the Exceptional Events rule, which states rely on when events out of human control contribute to ozone readings exceeding the allowed level, S. 640, which extends EPA’s existing timeline to review NAAQS to every 10 years; and S. 751, which requires 85 percent of the counties that currently are nonattainment be designated as meeting the standard before EPA lowers the standard.