The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

EPA Ozone Standards Based on Politics, Not Science

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted January 7, 2010

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed to tighten U.S. ground-level ozone standards to protect people as well as plants. Under the new guidelines, the "primary" standard aimed at protecting public health would be reduced to 0.060 and 0.070 parts per million (ppm) measured over eight hours from the 0.075 ppm level set in March 2008.

API reacted swiftly in a statement:

"The action lacks scientific justification. EPA acknowledges the newer studies on ozone do not materially change any of the broad scientific conclusions regarding the health effects of exposure. Given that conclusion, there is absolutely no basis for EPA to propose changing the ozone standards promulgated by the EPA Administrator in 2008. To do so is an obvious politicization of the air quality standard setting process that could mean unnecessary energy cost increases, job losses and less domestic oil and natural gas development and energy security."

As explained on the National Association of Manufacturers' (NAM) blog, the map below was prepared a few years ago to show the counties that likely would be out of attainment with the new standards. To meet the new standards, NAM says, "Billions of dollars would be spent by local governments and the private sector, with marginal benefits."


Hat tip to Carter Wood of

EPA will accept public comments on the new standards after the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register.


Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.