EPA’s ozone nightmare

Putting aside its absurd attack on carbon dioxide, declaring the most essential gas on Earth, other than oxygen, a “pollutant”, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently engaged in trying to further regulate ozone for no apparent reason other than its incessant attack on the economy.

In late January on behalf of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), Dr. Bonner R. Cohen, Ph.D, filed his testimony on the proposed national ambient air quality standard for ozone. The EPA wants to lower the current ozone standard of 75 parts per billion (ppb) to a range of 70 to 65 ppb, and even as low as 60 ppb.

“After promulgation of the current ozone standards in 2008,” Dr. Cohen noted, “EPA two years later called a temporary halt to the nationwide implementation of the standard in response to the severe recession prevailing at the time.”

In other words, it was deemed bad for the economy. “Now, EPA is proposing a new, more stringent standard even before the current standard has been fully implemented and even though, according to the EPA’s own data, ozone concentrations have declined by 33 percent since 1980.”

According to Wikipedia: “Ozone is a powerful oxidant (far more so than dioxygen) and has many industrial and consumer applications related to oxidation. This same high oxidizing potential, however, causes ozone to damage mucous and respiratory tissues in animals, and also tissues in plants, above concentrations of about 100 ppb. This makes ozone a potent respiratory hazard and pollutant near ground level. However, the so-called ozone layer (a portion of the stratosphere with a higher concentration of ozone, from two to eight ppm) is beneficial, preventing damaging ultraviolet light from reaching the Earth’s surface, to the benefit of both plants and animals.

So, yes, reducing ozone in the ground level atmosphere does have health benefits, but the EPA doesn’t just enforce the Clean Air Act, it also seeks to reinterpret and use it in every way possible to harm the economy.

As Dr. Cohen pointed out, “the Clean Air Act requires EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee to produce an evaluation of the adverse effects, including economic impact, of obtaining and maintaining a tighter standard. Despite repeated requests from Congress, (the Committee) has not produced the legally required evaluation. By ignoring this statutory mandate, and moving ahead with its ozone rulemaking, EPA is showing contempt for the rule of law and for the taxpayers who provide the agency’s funding.”

Since President Obama took office in 2009 he has used the EPA as one of his primary tools to harm the U.S. economy. In a Feb 2 Daily Caller article, Michael Bastasch reported that “Tens of thousands of coal mine and power plant workers have lost their jobs under President Obama, and more layoffs could be on the way as the administration continues to pile on tens of billions of dollars in regulatory costs.”

The American Coal Council’s CEO Betsy Monseu also testified regarding the proposed ozone standards, noting that the increased reductions would affect power plants, industrial plants, auto, agriculture, commercial and residential buildings, and more.

epa-ozone-mapjpg-b3f3f623a0caf96dCiting a study undertaken for the National Association of Manufacturers, “a 60 ppb ozone standard would result in a GDP reduction of $270 billion per year, a loss of up to 2.9 million jobs equivalents annually, and a reduction of $1,570 in average annual household consumption. Electricity costs could increase up to 23% and natural gas cost by up to 52% over the period to 2040.”

In a rational society, imposing such job losses and increased costs when the problem is already being solved would make no sense, but we all live in Obama’s society these days and that means increasing ozone standards only makes sense if you want to harm the economy in every way possible.

 

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About the Author: Alan Caruba

Alan Caruba

Alan Caruba, a CFACT adjunct policy analyst, writes a daily blog at factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com.

  • Tom Monfort

    It’s not enough that Obama refuses to uphold his oath and to perform the duties of the Executive branch to uphold the law. He allows the EPA to break the law in order to advance his stand on the false claims of climate change, with total disregard for the citizens of the United States and the economic disaster he seems to have a hunger for.

  • geo2man

    EPA=
    Ensuring Poverty Always

  • Eckenhuijsen Smit

    Barry should be behind bars on death row for being the liar king criminal!

  • Jane Wegener

    PLEASE congress MUST put and end to the EPA before they set America back to the dark ages. The EPA is a radical un elected agency that is operating outside of the law and any oversight from congress. The EPA MUST BE DEFUNDED AND DISMANTLED NOW!!

  • wally12

    I was an environmental engineer when the EPA was created by Nixon. In its initial years the EPA did some good regulations like Hazardous waste, water and initial air pollution, and oil pollution from leaking tanks. The EPA had a good model to follow on hazardous waste since the state of Texas was way ahead and had its own regulation which was given to EPA. However, it has continually grown in its power grab as an agency and exceeded its authority. The classification of CO2 as pollutant is the worst example since there is no proof that it is. The EPA must be cut down to a size that reflects both sound environmental changes and includes solid evidence that their regulations assist the economy or at least have minimal harmful effects. Congress must pass regulations that limit the EPA overreach and harm to the economy. Immediate control can be done by reducing their funding and demanding that EPA present valid calculations on the negative and positive benefits from any proposed rulings. There must be real congressional oversight on all regulations from this agency and all agencies.