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EPA Could Drown Industries, Make Consumers Pay

Posted on Monday, December 18, 2023
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by Outside Contributor
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14 Comments
New York, USA - 26 April 2021: United States Environmental Protection Agency EPA logo close-up on website page, Illustrative Editorial.

Has air pollution improved in our lifetime?

The narrative is that our atmosphere and air quality are more polluted than ever, requiring drastic economic and societal reform to clean it.

But in the United States, the opposite is true.

According to the EPA’s data, air pollution — measured using the six most common air pollutants — has reduced 42 percent since 2000. This measure considers the molecular makeup of particulate matter, whether that be smoke, dust or soot.

These numbers may be increasing in some developing countries where air pollution is a measurable problem, such as China or India. Still, the United States has managed to take a different path.

While some of this is because of policing and permitting programs by federal and state environmental regulators, the overwhelming amount of reduction has been generated in cleaner and more efficient practices from industries themselves — including manufacturing, agriculture and energy — as a means of reducing their costs.

However successful we’ve been in reducing air pollution, a proposed rule that could upset that decline and put many industries and the consumers that depend on them at risk.

In January, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule limiting the amount of particulate matter from 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air to between 9 and 10, seeking to update the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

That rule is being examined by the Office of Management and Budget, leading to concerns that the drastic regulatory change would harm more than help.

In September, 23 Republican senators sent a letter to the EPA administrator urging him to reconsider, citing the economic cost and their belief that lowering the standard would “produce little to no measurable public health or environmental benefits.”

This decision follows the EPA’s reconsideration of the Trump administration’s stance on particulate matter in June 2021, where it opted to maintain the existing National Ambient Air Quality Standards of 12 micrograms per cubic meter. The proposed rule is awaiting approval after undergoing interagency review with the OMB.

The NAAQS rule is pivotal in regulating “major sources” of pollutants or significant modifications to existing sources such as power plants and manufacturing facilities. Under the current standard, the industry has thrived thanks to innovative approaches to resource utilization. The proposed change, however, could force manufacturers and power generators to curtail their operations significantly, leading to revenue losses and job cuts. More important, this would eventually raise costs or reduce choices for consumers who depend on those industries.

If implemented, the new particulate matter standard could grind manufacturing and industrial projects to a halt, affecting new and continuing initiatives. Compliance with the stricter standard would become a significant challenge for companies, jeopardizing manufacturing, power generation and other vital industrial activities.

Ironically, this move could hinder President Biden’s goal of reshoring manufacturing jobs and establishing the nation as a leader in energy transition technologies. Rather than fostering growth, the EPA’s rule risks stifling U.S. manufacturing, driving investment and jobs overseas.

The numbers tell a grim story. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, the proposed standard could threaten economic activity from $162.4 billion to $197.4 billion, putting 852,100 to 973,900 jobs at risk. Additionally, 200 counties may be unable to support industrial activity if the rule is adopted.

In essence, the EPA’s proposed rule is a solution in search of a problem. Punishing U.S. industry, which has excelled in achieving clean air standards, this move threatens to destabilize the economy and penalize consumers. The OMB must reject this rule, recognizing the potential for severe economic repercussions and the unnecessary burden it places on businesses and consumers.

Yael Ossowski is deputy director of the Consumer Choice Center.

Reprinted with Permission from DC Journal – By Yael Ossowski

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PaulE
PaulE
4 months ago

The EPA was created to essentially address air and water pollution standards. It largely fulfilled its mandate within 10 to 15 years years of its creation by instituting literally thousands of regulations, with corresponding fines or other legal remedies for each regulation enacted to address the vast majority of major issues. Once their primary mission was completed by the mid 1980s, the EPA found itself with little to justify its continued existence. Much less grow the agency’s staffing and budget going forward. So, the EPA latched onto the climate change bandwagon as a means to justify its existence, while also growing its staff, budgets, and reach into ever more areas of the economy. Congress of course did nothing to intervene and reign in the agency, which is a common issue with almost all the federal agencies. The “go along to get along” mentality was standard practice for Congress.

Just take a look at how the size and scope of the EPA from its inception through to today. Pay special attention to how the annual growth of the EPA really took off, in terms of staffing, budgets and scope of mission, after they hopped on the climate change bandwagon. Which by the way is nowhere to be found in the initial justification for the role of the EPA. In essence, the EPA just decided they would jump into a whole new territory that were never empowered to regulate via regulatory overreach.

Today the EPA is the single most powerful agency in the federal government, in terms of being able to change whole sectors of the economy or kill economic growth almost completely, by just unilaterally deciding to issue new regulations or disincentivize whole sectors of the economy out of political favor with the administrative state. Yes, the new regulation by the EPA is proposing is indeed a solution in search of a problem, buy many, many of the regulations issued by the EPA over the last few decades fall into the exact same category.

We are literally well on our way to overregulating the U.S. economy into the ground. Most of western Europe accomplished that feat by the end of the 1990s, which is why all you see the EU doing these days is suing American companies for one thing or another. Americans should be concerned about what we’re being transformed into and be rightfully angry about that. We used to grow our economy at an annual rate of between 3 or 4 percent per annum. Aside from the first three Trump years before Covid, we haven’t been able to do that consistently under either G.W. Bush, Obama or Biden (which is simply Obama’s third term with the same Obama staff pulling Biden’s strings).

Frances
Frances
4 months ago

EPA is just another unconstitutional agency that is not listed as a right of the United States in the US Constitution, it should have never been created and badly need to be done away with.

anna hubert
anna hubert
4 months ago

EPA needs to go and preach and screech in the countries that pollute and over populate Wonder if they ‘d be willing to fight to save the planet then and how long they’d last

David Millikan
David Millikan
4 months ago

DEFUND the EPA.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
4 months ago

If they can regulate cow farts, since normal people’s respiration causes 0.1% of the CO2 emissions causing climate change, I’m sure one day the EPA will mandate daily individual limits for breathing some day, verified by surgically implanted meters.

Sean Rickman
Sean Rickman
4 months ago

Isn’t it long past time to eliminate the e.p.a.(everyones pain in the a$$).We need to rethink rich entities getting richer with their investments in alternative energy.That IS what its all about.

Robin W Boyd
Robin W Boyd
3 months ago

EPA is already drowning industries. I have been in the HVAC industry for 55 years and it just keeps getting worse with EPA regulations. The industry is not just being drowned, with the newest regulations forcing flammable refrigerants to be used, there’s going to be some burning as well.

Minnesota Resident
Minnesota Resident
4 months ago

The EPA is certainly not its appointed administrators. Rank and file employees that understand this struggle with reduced staffing and funding that greatly impedes their ability to implement the ever increasing mandates and workloads. Administrators ought to know as much science as their staffs. The EPA is not a law-making body. Its purpose is to implement the laws passed by the legislature. Sadly we see the results of overstepping and political influence.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
4 months ago

Via more damn regulations day 1

Morbious
Morbious
4 months ago

But if it helps one person with asthma its all worth it…..

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