NAM: Businesses in late-stage ad blitz against EPA’s stricter ozone rule

Reuters (9/1, Volcovici) reports on business groups’ ad campaign against a pending Environmental Protection Agency rule that would tighten US ground-level-ozone standards, noting that the media spots have appeared in Colorado and Ohio, are now showing in Pennsylvania, and await airings in Virginia and New Mexico. The story says opponents of the EPA rule, which is to take effect October 1, bolster their argument that it would be unduly expensive by citing a NAM-commissioned study that estimated $270 billion in compliance costs. Industry representatives also say that lowering the allowable limit of ozone pollution is unnecessary because the EPA’s current standard, set in 2008, is sufficient to protect public health and that states have either met or are on track to meeting it.

According to the AP (9/2, Rubinkam), the NAM-sponsored TV spot “attacking the new ozone regulation” will run through Friday in all of Pennsylvania’s major media markets.

Nebraska Forum Hears From Critics Citing Rule’s Potential Cost. The Omaha (NE) World-Herald (9/2, Duggan) reports on a “field hearing” Tuesday in Columbus, Nebraska led by Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE), a member the Environment and Public Works Committee, at which the EPA’s proposed ozone rule drew warnings of “dire economic consequences” from representatives of utilities and manufacturing companies. Fischer argued that lowering the ozone limit to between 65 and 70 parts per billion from the current standard of 75 ppb, as the EPA intends, could thwart economic growth in Nebraska. “Regardless of one’s view on the proposal, we can all agree the American people deserve to know the real cost of this regulation,” she said. The story also cites the NAM study, which “put the cost of the regulation at a whopping $1 trillion.”

Analyst: Ozone Reduction Isn’t Linked To Improved Health. Tony Cox, editor in chief of Risk Analysis, argues in an opinion essay in the Wall Street Journal (9/2, A13, Subscription Publication) that previous reductions in ozone levels haven’t improved public health. He says the projected health benefits from the EPA’s rule change are based on inaccurate modeling and subjective opinions, concluding that, if science and objective analysis are to drive policy, then the pending regulation shouldn’t be enacted.

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