The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

EPA's Overreach, an Update

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 27, 2011

The Environmental Protection Agency is at it again - trying to implement unrealistic regulations that will severely impact our economy and job growth.This time EPA has targeted U.S. ozone standards - also known as national ambient air quality standards, or NAAQS - two years before their scheduled review under the Clean Air Act. U.S. News World Report frames the debate:

At issue: The EPA's plan go[es] far beyond former President Bush's effort to tighten ozone standards way in advance of the planned review in 2013. It could push much of the nation into non-attainment status under the Clean Air Act, forcing major changes to improve air quality.

Just how much of the United States would be affected? The EPA's aggressive air quality proposal would likely push more than 85 percent of U.S. counties with ozone monitors to nonattainment status for failing to meet government standards. API's Jack Gerard:

"These proposed standards are so stringent that it would put nearly every county in America in non-compliance, including areas such as the pristine Yellowstone National Park. ... Changing the standard now could have a severe impact on economic growth and could prevent the very job creation that President Obama has identified as his top priority."

This ill-advised, out-of-cycle attempt to increase the ozone standard risks job losses at a time when we can least afford it. An economic analysis by the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI finds that EPA's move could sacrifice 7.3 million U.S. jobs by 2020 and add $1 trillion in new regulatory costs per year between 2020 and 2030.

Thwarting the standard review cycle not only is burdensome to industry, it's also unwarranted. In fact, under the current regulation system we've seen improvements in the protection of our air quality, ozone health and the health of our citizens.

Simply put, the proposed ozone standard would be costly, unattainable and impose a severe burden on manufacturers, the economy and consumers. The oil and natural gas industry employs nearly 9.2 million workers nationwide and can support many more. If you are an industry worker, take action now and tell the White House to stop job-killing overregulation by the EPA.

EPA announced it won't issue its new ozone standard July 29, as previously scheduled. It didn't say when the new regulation would be ready.


Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.