API warns EPA of consequences of unreasonable regulations

By OGJ editors
-- The US Environmental Protection Agency needs to consider that overly burdensome regulations reduce investments by US businesses and cost jobs, an American Petroleum Institute spokesman said June 1, adding the EPA has not gone far enough to ease such regulations.

API particularly is concerned about EPA implementing greenhouse gas regulations and ozone rules, Howard Feldman, API director of regulatory and scientific affairs, said during a June 1 conference call with reporters.

While acknowledging EPA took steps to reduce some regulations, API still believes US President Barack Obama’s administration needs to do more to help the recovering economy, Feldman 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," he said.

Earlier this year, API submitted 30 pages of suggestions to EPA and 19 pages to the Department of the Interior in response to President Obama’s request for comments on overly burdensome regulations.

In January 2010, EPA proposed a rule to lower the primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone from the current standard of 75 ppb to 60-70 ppb. Although the rule typically gets reviewed every 5 years, EPA is pushing with this new standard 3 years after its previous review.

"Reasonable ozone standards are appropriate, but EPA’s proposals are anything but reasonable," Feldman 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, he said.

EPA’s analysis shows that tightening the ozone standards will cause up to 96% of all US counties with air quality monitors to fail the standards, Feldman said. He cited research by the Manufacturers Alliance and MAPI that found EPA’s ozone proposal could result in 7.3 million US jobs lost by 2020 and could add $1 trillion/year in regulatory costs during 2020-30.

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