WASHINGTON, June 1, 2011 – Citing the potential for major damage to the nation’s economy, the American Petroleum Institute today expressed frustration that the Environmental Protection Agency has not gone far enough to ease the burden of unreasonable regulations on American businesses.
Howard Feldman, director of regulatory and scientific affairs, said that while API applauds the few steps EPA has taken to curb unnecessary regulations, the administration needs to go much further if it is serious about getting the economy back on track.
"Our economy is still attempting to recover," he said. "People need jobs, and in order to provide those jobs, American businesses need to be assured that the rules they must comply with are predictable and reasonable."
Feldman said overly burdensome regulations reduce investment and cost jobs and put these businesses at a competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace.
API submitted some 50 pages of suggestions to EPA in response to President Obama’s request for comments on overly burdensome regulations but EPA listed only a few regulations that would be changed and skipped over those that present a major obstacle to job creation, he said.
"EPA is in the process of implement enormously costly regulations on the very businesses that can and will create American jobs while continuing to improve environmental performance," Feldman said. "We are particularly concerned with the agency’s plans to tighten the ozone standard and implement greenhouse gas controls on industry.
In January 2010, EPA proposed a rule to lower the primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard – or NAAQS – for ozone from the current standard of 75 parts per billion to a level between 60 and 70 ppb. This rule is typically reviewed on a five-year cycle. However, EPA is pushing forward with this new standard just three years after its previous review, despite the fact that no new data is being considered.
"Reasonable ozone standards are appropriate, but EPA’s proposals are anything but reasonable," Feldman said. "And they will not provide an additional benefit."
He said the proposed standard is so low that it approaches natural background levels of ozone and even Yellowstone National Park would not meet the new standards.
Feldman said that under EPA’s own analysis, tightening the ozone standards will cause up to 96 percent of all U.S. counties with air quality monitors to fail the standards. This would bring numerous consequences in economic development, business expansion and investment.
He cited a Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI study that found that EPA’s ozone proposal could result in 7.3 million U.S. jobs lost by 2020 and would add $1 trillion in new regulatory costs per year between 2020 and 2030.
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API represents more than 470 oil and natural gas companies, leaders of a technology-driven industry that supplies most of America’s energy, supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested more than $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.