NAM calls for action against proposed EPA ozone rule as groundswell of opposition builds

During an interview with Charlie Sykes available via a podcast on the WTMJ-AM Milwaukee (8/27) website, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons discussed the Environmental Protection Agency’s new ozone standards, noting that the proposed regulation “is absolutely one of the most foolhardy endeavors that I think I have ever seen in Washington.”

In response to Sykes’ inquiries on the “absolutely staggering” costs that the regulations will impart on Wisconsin and the nation, Timmons stated, “when we say expensive, it means direct economic impact on communities across this country, direct economic impact on people’s pay checks, on their livelihoods, on the cost of energy that they consume.”

Timmons added, “Everything that matters in their life will be more expensive and it will also impede our ability to grow our economy, in other words, raise wages and salaries, so you’re going to have stagnating wages and rising costs.”

Timmons called on listeners to “reach out to their members of Congress and United States Senate” to voice support for the legislation backed by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), the Clean Air, Strong Economies (CASE) bill, “which will help stall this aggressive action by the EPA.”

Congressman Reid Ribble (R-WI) also commented on EPA’s proposed legislation, pointing out that “our air is cleaner than ever” after 30 years of economic and population growth. Ribble stated that because Wisconsin and other manufacturing states “are still working hard to finish implementing the 2008 EPA clean air guidelines, it is unwise and unfair to introduce an additional set of regulations that may undermine the work that has been done so far.”

Ribble argues that “we all want clean air….but regulation must be made in a thoughtful way,” as he calls for the EPA to end the practice of “moving the goal posts and piling additional uncertainty and costs onto an industry we rely on.”

Wisconsin Counties Would Violate Proposed Ground-Level Ozone Rules. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (8/27, Bergquist, Content) reports the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “is expected to soon unveil new rules that would require reductions of ground-level ozone.” The Sentinel says the impact on southern Wisconsin is that “many counties currently in compliance” with the present standard “would likely violate a more stringent” requirement. After running ads in Colorado and Ohio, the NAM has made Wisconsin the third state, according to the Sentinel, where it is running ads that say the new law would “stifle the economy and kill millions of jobs.”

NAM, Business Groups Launch Campaign Against EPA’s Ozone Rule, Cite Economic Harms. A 1,468-word piece in the National Journal (8/27, Plautz, Subscription Publication) reports that the NAM and other major business groups are leading a “methodical march through swing states” of Colorado, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin, with many more states to come, “launching attacks against” EPA’s proposed ozone rules. The campaign against the proposed regulation calls EPA’s rule “the most expensive regulation in history.” A NAM television ad running in Wisconsin this week “highlights opposition from states and mayors,” states the rule will “stifle our economy and kill millions of jobs,” and asks viewers: “Common sense; does it exist in our nation’s capital?” Timmons commented, “Counties and localities are going to be hit over and over again on an economic basis, and we want everyone to understand that,” adding that the NAM is ‘“rolling” its ad campaign “out where the discussion has been most intense … and ultimately we’d like to take this to all 50 states.”

Bennet Says Ozone Proposal “Doesn’t Make Any Sense.” A piece written in Politico Pro (8/27, Guillen, Raju, Subscription Publication) reports that during a Colorado Oil and Gas Association gathering in his state’s capital, Sen Michael Bennet (D-CO) “came out swinging against EPA’s proposal to lower ozone standards,” saying that the proposed law will make a “significant” portion of Colorado “non-attainment zones from the beginning of the law. That doesn’t make any sense. That’s not going to work.” Bennet hopes a “rational outcome” can be created, but adds that “the one that has been proposed .. is not yet there.” Should NAM members want to read the full article for free, they may contact National Association of Manufacturers Account Manager Molly Fluet at mfluet@politico.com.

Ohio Business Groups, Manufacturers Argue Against EPA Regs. Crain’s Cleveland Business (8/25, Shingler) reports that according to manufacturers and business groups in Ohio, the EPA’s new ozone standard “would be a job killer” and “would be unattainable to begin with due to ozone that comes to the United States from China and other nations.” NAM vice president of energy and resources policy Ross Eisenberg stated that EPA’s new “regulations like the new federal Clean Power Plan and others that increase industrial costs, especially new ozone standards, could put a stop” to the current trend of manufacturing growth, and job growth, in the US. The article added that according to Eisenberg, “‘No single regulation within all of those regulations poses a greater threat to manufacturing and the overall economy’ than the pending ozone standard,” adding that the regulation “could be the most expensive regulation in U.S. history.”

Associated Industries of Missouri is the sole official designated partner of the National Association of Manufacturers in Missouri.