Jim Inhofe: Obama’s ozone overreach
On Thursday, the Obama administration finalized a new national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for ozone as part of the president’s legacy of addressing the environment through regulatory overreach. Not only does the new ozone standard impose very real, draconian economic costs on states across the country, but it is veiled in the false promise of environmental benefits.
If the past is prologue, we can be certain that this new ozone standard will be no different, imposing draconian economic costs on states and counties across the country.
In 2008, the Bush administration set the standard for ozone at 75 parts per billion (ppb). This standard, a reduction from the 84 ppb set in 1997, was viewed at the time as quite stringent, and counties faced major challenges in meeting it. Now, the Obama administration has set the ozone standard at 70 ppb — a requirement that will push counties all over the country out of attainment, causing extensive economic turmoil.
When a county is in nonattainment, business as usual stops dead in its tracks. In order to build anything from factories to schools to hospitals, one must jump through a series of regulatory hoops, giving EPA veto power over any major projects. Not meeting the standard could keep companies from expanding and could even result in some industries electing to shut down their facilities and move out of state or even out of the country to places where there are fewer compliance restrictions, like China and India.