President Obama has finally made an attempt to reign in the astounding regulatory overreach of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The president asked EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw the agency’s proposed National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone, which would have tightened the current standard of 75 parts per billion (ppb) to a range between 60 ppb and 70 ppb. The new lower standard could have put as many as nine Arizona counties into non-compliance, which, as the state knows from its battle with the EPA on PM-10 issues, can lead to hefty fines and a loss of federal highway funds.
The EPA’s regulatory posture completely ignores a balanced look at public policy and what is best for the American people. This ozone standard was lowered in 2003 and is up for a formal review again in 2013, but that was apparently too long a wait for a regulation that, according to a study by the Manufacturers Alliance (MAPI), could cost this nation 7.3 million jobs by 2020 and could add up to $1 trillion annually in compliance costs between 2020 and 2030.
With the nation still trying to recover from the worst economic recession in a generation, now is not the time to allow federal bureaucrats to capriciously set expensive, job-killing regulations.
The Obama Administration took an important first step in getting control of its regulatory agencies; hopefully there is more to come.
Rebecca Hudson is an environmental policy analyst at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a former Goldwater Institute Ronald Reagan Fellow.
Los Angeles Times: Obama asks EPA to back off draft ozone standard