Posted August 21, 2014
As with other states we’ve recently highlighted – North Carolina, Ohio, Louisiana and Kentucky – the impacts of more stringent standards for ground-level ozone on Michigan could be wide and significant. According to a recent report from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Michigan could see $75.3 billion gross state product loss from 2017 to 2040 and 83,092 lost jobs or job equivalents per year:
Counties in red have ozone monitors located in them; those in orange are unmonitored areas that could be expected to violate a 60 parts per billion (ppb) standard (based on spatial interpolation), which EPA is considering to as a replacement for the current 75 ppb standard. Every county in Michigan would be in nonattainment with a standard set at 60 ppb – which could keep manufacturers from expanding unless other businesses shut down and could freeze federal highway funds.
Nationally, 94 percent of the country could be out of compliance, potentially impacting the broader economy and individual households (state-by-state projections, here). The NAM report estimates a possible $270 billion per year reduction in U.S. GDP and 2.9 million fewer job equivalents per year on average through 2040:
NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) that no other regulation would come close to the level of “self-inflicted and ultimately unnecessary economic pain” that could result from a stricter ozone standard. Howard Feldman, API’s director of scientific and regulatory affairs, said the ozone proposals could be the “costliest EPA regulations ever.”
As Feldman recently noted, fuels are cleaner today than they were years ago as are industry facilities, resulting in improved air quality that will continue improving under the existing ozone standard. The sensible approach, for Michigan and the rest of the country, would be for EPA to retain the current 75 ppb standard, to continue improving air quality without risking harm to the economy and individual Americans.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.