The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Stricter Ozone Rule = Nonattainment for Louisiana

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 18, 2014

Louisiana is an important energy-producing state – the country’s No. 2 crude oil producer at nearly 1.45 million barrels per day when federal offshore output is included. The state also is No. 2 in petroleum refining capacity.

Energy development is boosting Louisiana’s economy. Oil and natural gas extraction, refining and the pipeline industries support 287,000 state jobs and billions in household earnings and sales to state businesses, according to a recent study. At the same time, energy activity is part of the reason new, stricter ground-level ozone standards could have major impacts in Louisiana. The graphic below, based on a study conducted for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), illustrates (click for a PDF):


Every Louisiana parish (county) would be in nonattainment or non-compliance with an ozone standard of 60 parts per billion (ppb), which EPA is considering to replace the current 75 ppb standard. Jurisdictions in red have ozone monitors located in them; those in orange are unmonitored areas that could be expected to violate the 60 ppb standard, based on spatial interpolation.

The potential economic costs to Louisiana would be significant. The state could see $53.4 billion in gross state product loss from 2017 to 2040 and 116,983 lost jobs or job equivalents per year. On a practical level, manufacturers wouldn’t be able to expand to counties in red or orange unless other businesses shut down, and federal highway funds could be frozen. 

The NAM report estimates U.S. GDP could be reduced by $270 billion per year and that there could be 2.9 million fewer job equivalents per year on average through 2040. The report warns that manufacturers and households potentially could see increased natural gas and electricity costs. Howard Feldman, API’s director of regulatory and scientific affairs, said the standards could be the “costliest EPA regulations ever,” with up to 94 percent of the country out of compliance with a 60 ppb standard:


Click here for a state-by-state analysis of the ozone standard proposal and see previous posts on the potential impacts for North Carolina and Ohio.


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.