Tuesday, November 10, 2015

EPA’s Smog Regulation Will Cost 40x More Than Predicted

The Environmental Protection Agency estimated its stricter smog limits would only cost Americans $1.4 billion a year, but a new report argues the total cost to the economy is likely 40 times higher than agency estimates. The right-leaning American Action Forum says EPA’s updated smog, or ground-level ozone, rule could cost $56.5 billion in lost wages based on economic losses from counties that couldn’t comply with the agency’s 2008 rule. “Observed nonattainment counties experienced losses of $56.5 billion in total wage earnings, $690 in pay per worker, and 242,000 jobs between 2008 and 2013,” according to AAf policy experts. EPA finalized stricter ozone standards earlier this year, forcing states to lower ambient levels from 75 parts per billion to 70 parts per billion. The problem is that compliance with previous ozone standards has proven difficult, especially for counties with heavy manufacturing centers. Counties that find themselves in noncompliance may be forced to curtail manufacturing or oil and gas extraction. Critics argue the rule is one of the costliest in U.S. history, likely to cost billions of dollars every year and harm economic growth...more

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