Sunday, October 04, 2015

How much will EPA’s new ozone rule cost you?


When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday it was toughening the country’s rules for ground-level ozone — what’s commonly known as smog, which comes from sources such as tailpipes and smokestacks — it caught flak from environmental groups and business officials.

But when all is said and done, the people most affected financially figures to be everyday Americans who will almost certainly pay higher prices in their utility bills and the products they buy.
“They’re going to pay more for everything that’s made in the United States, if those things continue to be made in the United States,” said Dan Kish, senior energy and regulatory policy expert at Institute for Energy Research.

...How much will the new rule cost the average American? Business groups insist the new regulation will be remarkably expensive.

The National Association of Manufacturers released a study in February claiming updated rules will cost the U.S. economy $1.7 trillion between 2017 and 2040.  Another study compiled by NERA Economic Consulting at the request of the manufacturing group estimated that reducing ozone regulations to 65 ppb would cost the average household $830 a year.

...A big reason for the expense? Stricter ozone regulations means factories and power plants have to install scrubbers and other technologies on smokestacks to reduce the chemicals put into the air. Scrubbers can cost tens of millions of dollars and each degree that the ozone standard is lowered, the costs pile up.

...Last month, Colorado’s top two Democrats — Gov. John Hickenlooper and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet — said they were “deeply concerned” whether the Rocky Mountain State could afford to make the changes needed and echoed complaints from other high-altitude states such as New Mexico that stricter ozone standards hurt them more than states closer to sea level.

“Because of pollution that’s coming in from other Western states, from across the globe, from across wildfires in the West, we have significant parts of our state that would be non-attainment zones from the very beginning of the law,” Bennett said. “That doesn’t make any sense, it’s not going to work.”

Let's say you're in a situation where you don't have to put up with the FS or BLM and you haven't been touched by any endangered species designations.  Or maybe you're a city dweller. You might be saying, "Thankfully, I'm free of all this environmental crud."  The above is just one example of why you need to think again.  Trucks, stock and horse trailers, fencing supplies, windmill parts, etc. are all going to cost more.  Or, SUVs, camping trailers, hunting equipment, backyard swing sets, or any other manufactured item you use will see price increases.  Not to mention the jobs lost and fines to your state that you will end up paying for.  All over 5 parts per billion.  Are you still feeling free?

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