(Burke, VA) The United States economy has long been struggling to fully rise out of the Great Recession. Many young people still struggle to find employment, and many Americans are underemployed. Americans in poverty labor every day to end the cycle that keeps them living paycheck to paycheck. The Environmental Protection Agency’s new ozone rule does nothing but harm these two groups while providing no net benefit.
The current ozone standard is 75 parts per billion (ppb), the new regulation would drop that standard to 65-70 ppb. Though this seems like a small drop, it is not. Current technology does not make this drop easily achievable. The EPA and the Obama Administration believe the health benefits require this drop in emissions, yet the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced that “after an in-depth review of the EPA’s analysis, as well as a thorough study of the relevant scientific literature, the TCEQ has concluded that there will be little to no public health benefit from lowering the current standard.” Indeed, some of the EPA’s own analysis showed that lowering ozone levels would cause increased mortality. Obviously there is a significant issue with their data and analysis.
While there will be no health benefits from reduced ozone emissions, the economic impact of this regulation will be massive and widespread. A study from the National Association of Manufacturers estimates that the U.S. economy will lose $140 billion and 1.4 million jobs per year due to this ozone rule alone. These are jobs that could be employing those in poverty, and those just entering the work force.
“Let’s make this personal,” Cornwall Alliance Founder and National Spokesman E. Calvin Beisner said. “Various economic studies indicate that every loss of $10 to $15 million to the American economy results in one lost life, because when people’s incomes fall, especially in lower brackets, they have to curtail their spending, some of it on things that lengthen their lives, like nutrition, health care, and safety. That means this regulation, costing $140 billion a year, can be expected to cause an extra 9,000 to 14,000 deaths each year. Is that what the American people want?”
Included in the areas that would be out of compliance with the regulation are most urban areas as well as some national parks. (In many areas high ozone concentrations occur naturally). Urban areas contain the highest percentage of inner-city poor and Millennials. This rule will hurt them most.
Destructive policies like this one are why the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation released the petition, Forget ‘Climate Change’, Energy Empowers the Poor! The EPA is out of control with its constant extreme and damaging regulations, and the Obama Administration consistently tries to export this type of policy to developing countries—policies that will continue the cycle of poverty there, and condemn millions to disease and early death.