Business community steps up attacks on EPA Ozone Rule

The Hill (8/12, Devaney), noting that the Environmental Protection Agency is to implement a stricter standard on ozone emissions on October 1, reports that businesses are “ramping up efforts to sack” the “controversial air pollution rule.” The story cites a NAM estimate that lowering the threshold of allowable ozone pollution to as little as 65 parts per billion from the current 75 ppb limit “will cost $140 billion each year in lost economic growth and lead to 1.4 million fewer jobs.” The Hill also notes that the association has launched “advertising campaigns against the rule” in the Washington, DC area and Colorado.

NAM Ads Targeting Standard Hit Airwaves In Colorado. The Denver Post (8/11, Frank), in its politics and policy blog the Spot, characterizes the NAM’s 30-second ad now airing across Colorado as “criticizing President Obama’s administration for its new carbon dioxide regulations.” The blog post links to the ad, titled “Common Sense,” and says the association is “paying millions to put it on statewide TV nearly 1,000 times in the next week,” with plans to air in other states “soon.” The Spot cites NAM Director of Energy and Resources Policy Greg Bertelsen as calling the EPA air-pollution rules the association’s “biggest regulatory concern.” The blog also says that a report on how the ozone rule will harm Colorado’s economy is set for release on Wednesday by the Center for Regulatory Solutions, an industry-backed coalition that includes the NAM.

In a news release, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons called Colorado a longtime leader in “balancing economic growth with environmental stewardship,” He said “a strong coalition of business and community leaders” in the state “have worked together to secure real clean air progress” and that the ad’s intent is meant to “draw attention to new, costly mandates from Washington that threaten to undermine these state efforts.”

The Colorado Springs (CO) Gazette (8/12, Heilman) reports that the NAM TV spots will air for the next two weeks “on local network affiliates and cable networks.” Referencing the upcoming Center for Regulatory Solutions report, the Gazette says estimates are that compliance with the stricter ozone standard “would cost Colorado businesses $815 million and companies nationwide $1.1 trillion and result in annual job losses totaling nearly 11,000 in Colorado and 1.4 million nationwide.” The newspaper quotes NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Ross Eisenberg as saying in an interview last week in Colorado Springs, “Ozone emissions in El Paso County are now at 74 parts per billion and would not comply with the new standard, the first time the county will have been out of compliance.” Eisenberg added that the new EPA rule could thwart the building of new or expanded factories, highway projects, and power plants in 14 of Colorado’s biggest counties.