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Rejection of EPA Smog Regulation a Victory for Job Creators and the Economy

Washington, DC – Congressman Bill Shuster issued the following statement after learning the White House has shelved a controversial smog regulation that would have added new regulatory burdens on Pennsylvania businesses during a recession.

“I support efforts to clean the air and protect the environment, but these improvements must strike a balance with economic reality. Businesses across Pennsylvania are still struggling to meet existing air quality mandates.  This new regulation would transfer a cost anywhere between $19 and $90 billion onto local economies, burdening small businesses with new costs in a recession.

“The rejection of this ruling is a victory for businesses and consumers as the costs of this new regulation would have been passed onto them in the form of higher prices and utility rates.  I commend President Obama for shelving this regulation in the face of opposition from environmental pressure groups.”

Background:

Article detailing the regulation in The Hill: White House shelves smog rule in huge defeat for green groups

On May 21, 2010 Congressman Shuster sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson urging her to reject new mandates on air quality. 

Text of the Letter:

May 21, 2010
Ms. Lisa Jackson
Administrator, US Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20460

Dear Ms. Jackson:

I am contacting you regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed ruling under the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), which would lower the federal standard for county ground-level ozone from the 2008 mandate of 75 ppb to 60-70 ppb.  I have heard concerns from many of my constituents regarding the economic burden this new mandate would place on counties in my congressional district and across the country.  

Hundreds of counties across the nation are still struggling to meet the 2008 mandate.  Lowering these standards further would cause many more counties in Pennsylvania to be out of compliance and would require county governments to place new restrictions on businesses, negatively impacting job growth and economic recovery.  Lowering emissions to meet the new standard would significantly burden local economies and nationally would cost between $19 billion and $90 billion according to the EPA.  In the middle of an economic recession, with the national unemployment rate at 9.9 percent, this is not the time to increase costs on small businesses and manufacturers which are essential to providing local jobs and turning around the economy.  Further, cutting federal funding to local governments for important public works projects due to noncompliance will further stunt the economy and hurt American families.  

I certainly appreciate efforts to improve our environment and support the goal of cleaner air, and I am pleased by the 14 percent drop in ozone levels over the past 10 years.  However, the proposed stricter mandates come at a large economic cost, and at a time when so many individuals are struggling, it is vital to think about the impact of these policies from both a local and national standpoint.  I urge you to consider the potential ramifications the proposed lower mandate will have on local economies and reconsider the proposed lower standards.  Thank you in advance for your consideration.  

Sincerely,

Bill Shuster
Member of Congress