EPA intends to overlay ozone pea with very expensive regulatory mattresses

Just think of the Environmental Protection Agency as the princess and ozone as the pea, and you will get some idea of the scope of the problem.

In 2008, the EPA set the ozone standard for air quality at 75 parts per billion (ppb). That’s parts per billion. Think of 1 ppb as the equivalent of one drop of ink in the tanker of the largest gasoline tanker truck.

But now the EPA signaling that it intends to cut the standard to 70 or 60 ppb — five or 15 drops fewer — even though the states have not yet fully implemented the 2008 standard.

The agency claims researchers estimate that this would reduce annual ozone-related premature deaths by 8,000 — a highly debatable conclusion.

One of the most frequently cited benefits of reducing ozone is to children with asthma.

But a Heartland report several years noted that the incidence of asthma had doubled over the previous 25 years while ozone levels were being sharply reduced. “A government-funded study of thousands of children in California reported that children who grew up in the highest-ozone areas had a 30 percent lower risk of developing asthma, when compared with children in low-ozone areas,” the report noted, adding, “While ozone can trigger asthma attacks, the effect is small. According to estimates by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), eliminating virtually all human-caused ozone in California — where millions of people live in areas with by far the highest ozone levels in the country — would reduce asthma-related emergency room (ER) visits by only 1.8 percent.”

Perhaps the most jaw-dropping aspect of this proposed regulation is what those nine mattresses for the princess will cost.

A study by NERA Economic Consulting, commissioned by the National Association of Manufacturers, estimates the lower ozone standard would cost the economy $270 billion a year — the most expensive regulation ever imposed on American businesses — and eliminate the equivalent of 2.9 million jobs a year through 2040.

The price of residential electricity would increase 15 percent on average across the nation, while the price of natural gas would jump 32 percent.

The study said that manufacturers in nonattainment areas will not be able to expand operations unless another businesses in the area reduces emissions or closes its doors. Economic growth in these regions would nearly come to a standstill.

Nevada, which has been largely unaffected by the ozone standard, would be impacted even in rural counties.

The study says the Silver State’s gross state product would be reduced by $19 billion 2017 to 2040, costing 11,224 jobs a year.

And that is assuming the standard is even achievable. NERA Economic Consulting notes the EPA has identified only 39 percent of the controls needed to meet the standard. The remaining 61 percent has yet to be identified, which leaves the firm to suggest this would likely result in early scrapping of plants, equipment and vehicles, huge capital cost.

Compliance will mean shutting down or modifying power plants, factories, heavy-duty vehicles, farm equipment, off-road vehicles and passenger cars. For Nevadans it will cost $23 million more to own and operate vehicles.


That was then.


This could be the future.


“Now is not the time to sacrifice millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in pursuit of dubious benefits and unreachable targets. The EPA should put on the brakes and allow the existing ozone standards to be implemented,” argues Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, in an op-ed column in The Wall Street Journal recently.

12 comments on “EPA intends to overlay ozone pea with very expensive regulatory mattresses

  1. Winston Smith says:

    And the Founders cheer as yet another hidden delegated power is discovered in the Constitution by the devotees of Big Government, thereby justifying federal control over an ever-increasing part of our lives.

    “I’m so thrilled that the modern U.S. government keeps finding these surreptitious little nuggets of power that we placed between the lines of Article I. At this rate, any silly notion of a limited federal government will soon be gone forever!” – James Madison

    “As I watch the sun set while sipping wine at Monticello each evening, I can’t imagine a more splendid thing than the constant creation of a multitude of New Federal Offices, wherein swarms of Officers are sent hither to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.” – Thomas Jefferson

  2. Athos says:

    Throw off the oppressors!

    French reduxm, 1787!

  3. Rincon says:

    This is reminiscent of the objections we heard to reducing air and water pollution in the 1970’s. Hard to get concerned when I’ve been hearing the cry of “wolf” for my entire adult life regarding the costs of maintaining the air and water.

    Here we go again with the Heartland Institute, which I’ve already caught in several lies. Here’s another gem from these idiots on a similar topicd: “According to EPA’s Clean Air Status Report: Three Decades of Progress, overall emissions of the six principal pollutants regulated under the law are now at less than half their 1970 levels”. (They don’t dispute the drop in pollutant levels)… “the economy has grown by 176 percent during the same time,” suggesting “cleaner air and an expanding economy can coexist.” (also undisputed) http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2004/11/01/air-pollution-cut-half-epa-announces

    Their argument: “It may be misleading to attribute all of the air pollution gains to the 1970 Clean Air Act. Technological advances, as well as state and local regulatory efforts, were playing a role before Washington was involved”. Huh? Sorry Michael, these guys are playing with half a deck.

  4. Rincon says:

    One more piece of stupidity from Heartland taken from Thomas’ article: “But a Heartland report several years noted that the incidence of asthma had doubled over the previous 25 years while ozone levels were being sharply reduced”. News flash: Ozone doesn’t cause asthma. It only aggravates, so it is completely unrelated to any rise or fall in the incidence of the disease. Their statement is complete nonsense.

    The economic figures given are all seat of the pants estimates of zealots with an ax to grind. EPA has numbers that disagree. So what else is new?

  5. Winston Smith says:

    It’s sometimes difficult to sort out causation vs. correlation, and I don’t pretend to recognize every non sequitur thrown out there. I can’t go visit the other timeline where the federal government did not get involved (unconstitutionally) in a given situation to compare the two results, as fun as that might be.

    I have real a problem with unconstitutional stuff being done by the feds, even if those things later prove to be beneficial to the nation collectively or even me individually. I just prefer (or even demand) that the Constitution be properly amended before the feds do something with no legitimate power to do so.

    The slippery slope to tyranny is ALWAYS paved with supposed good intentions, no matter which partisan fool is supporting it.

    “If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one….” – James Madison, letter to Edmund Pendleton, January 21, 1792.

  6. Rincon says:

    Interstate commerce Winston. The pollutants released in one state frequently affect another. Air pollutants are an unintended consequence of commerce and cause economic damage in other states. So the question is, are economic damages part off commerce? I admit that the point is debatable, but it’s hardly a no brainer.

  7. Athos says:

    No brainer=today’s liberal

  8. Winston Smith says:

    Rincon, unfortunately, there are those who will look for ANY excuse to increase federal power over the citizenry. If things like the Clean Air Act were occasional, discrete exceptions to the general good behavior by the federal government in following the Constitution as intended by the Founders, I probably wouldn’t be too concerned, but instead, it is just another of the thousands examples of the feds purposely crossing the line of delegated powers, setting new precedents to be later surpassed by more egregious usurpations.

    Yes, these usurpations are always defended by some as the “right thing to do”, but “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    “They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please…. Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. It was intended to lace them up straightly within the enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect.” –Thomas Jefferson, Opinion on National Bank, 1791

  9. Rincon says:

    Would have never happened if utopian capitalism had performed as advertised.

  10. […] EPA to cut power plant carbon output by 30 percent, though she did not deign to mention it will cost the economy $270 billion a year, eliminate the equivalent of 2.9 million jobs a year through 2040 and increase the price of […]

  11. […] study also noted the region gets a lot of ozone from California and Asia, as well as […]

  12. […] allowable level to 60 ppb. (Yes, that’s parts per billion. Think of 1 ppb as the equivalent of one drop of ink in the tanker of the largest gasoline tanker […]

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