National Association of Manufacturers claims increased EPA regs - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

National Association of Manufacturers claims increased EPA regs could "break us"

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A study commissioned by the National Association of Manufacturers and released July 31 claims that a new ozone regulation from the Obama Administration could cost the United States $270 billion per year and place millions of jobs at risk.

“This would be the most expensive regulation ever imposed on the American public,” said Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers said on a conference call with media. “It couldn't come at a worse time. … The proposed standards would break us.

“It would be a self-inflicted blow shared by (American) business and consumers. (NAM) is extremely concerned."

NAM said stated during a Jan. 31 news conference that the current standard emission of 75 parts per billion established by the EPA in 2008 “needs to stay” and that an expected EPA proposal in December to lower acceptable standards to 60 ppb should come “off the table.”

The willingness of the EPA to have additional dialogue with the NAM to discuss the data on the study, “is clearly a concern,” said Timmons, adding “there has already been a significant amount of dialogue.”

The purpose of the study is “not only to provide information to the EPA, but to also the general public, as well as members of Congress and policymakers and others in the administration,” he said.

“Congress has a role here," Timmons said. "Congress has an oversight responsibility. They could be weighing in on real-world impacts of regulations and cost of regulatory compliance. 

"They’re elected, obviously, to represent their constituents. They’re elected to watch out for the economy and certainly to watch out for the jobs of those they represent.”

Ross Eisenberg, vice president of energy and resources policy with the National Association of Manufacturers said the industry wants to make sure government takes the time to "get this right."

“We need a ruling that will protect the economy and the environment," he said. “We sent the report to the EPA and would be thrilled if they would sit down and talk to us and walk through (the report). We need a rule that will work for manufacturers.”

The report addresses the contiguous 48 states individually, addressing the Mountain State in a section titled “What Could New Ozone Regulations Cost West Virginia?” which reports:

* $21 Billion Gross State Product Loss from 2017 to 2040

* 14,276 Lost Jobs or Job Equivalents per Year

* $658 Million in Total Compliance Costs

* $930 Drop in Average Household Consumption per Year

* $16 Million More for Residents to Own/Operate Their Vehicles Statewide (2017 to 2040)

* Up to a 15 Percent Increase in Residential Electricity Prices (National Average)

* Up to a 32 Percent Increase in Residential Natural Gas Prices (National Average)

* Shutdown of 60 Percent of West Virginia’s Coal-Fired Generating Capacity

Nationally, the report states that a stricter new ozone regulation’s impact on the U.S. could:

* Reduce U.S. GDP by $270 billion per year and $3.4 trillion from 2017 to 2040;

* Result in 2.9 million fewer job equivalents per year on average through 2040;

* Cost the average U.S. household $1,570 per year in the form of lost consumption; and

* Increase natural gas and electricity costs for manufacturers and households across the country.

The full report is available at nam.org/ozone

* * *

The U.S. EPA released the following statement on Jan. 31. 

"EPA has not reviewed the NAM study. The agency has not yet proposed a rule as and is still reviewing the available technical information. Any economic analysis on a new standard would be premature at this point and not based actual agency actions. History has proven time and time again we can reduce pollution—and grow the economy at the same time. Over the past 40+ years, we've cut air pollution by more than 70 percent and in the same time GDP has tripled. EPA is on track to issue a proposal this December, which will be available for public comment and input."