Texas economy poised for hit as EPA proposes new ozone regs

By prompting lost jobs, hefty compliance costs and rising electricity rates, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s latest ozone regulation proposal isn’t just another government regulation. In fact, new analysis suggests Texans should prepare to experience massive changes not only within their economy, but also to their way of life.

In November 2014, the EPA proposed a measure seeking to strengthen the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone. In addition to a stated goal of improving “public health protection, particularly for children, the elderly, and people of all ages who have lung diseases such as asthma,” the agency claims this change will “improve protection for trees, plants and ecosystems.”

The new regulations call for a tightening of standards to between 70 parts per billion (ppb) and 65 ppb. Opponents of this change cite the proposed standards’ thresholds as “so low, some of our nation’s most pristine areas— even national parks—could find themselves out of compliance, primarily due to high levels of ‘background’ ozone that exist naturally in ambient air or are present due to factors beyond local control.”

A study by NERA Economic Consulting terms the projected $140-billion annual cost of the new ozone regulation as “the most expensive ever issued on the American public.”

Read more at Watchdog Arena.

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