CEI Joins 60 Organizations Opposing National Ozone Standard

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Dear House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Upton and Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Inhofe:

On behalf of the 60 organizations listed below and the millions of Americans represented, we urge you to take action on the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for Ozone and to reform the rulemaking process for ozone and other pollutants regulated under NAAQS. Without changes to the ozone regulation and reform of the rulemaking process, economic activity could be brought to a standstill in many areas across the country.

The ozone regulation has questionable benefits, but certain economic costs. Last year, when the EPA lowered the compliant level of ozone from 75 to 70 parts per billion (ppb), it estimated the regulation would cost $1.4 billion annually and admitted the cost of the regulation greatly outweighed the benefits of further ozone reductions. Previous cost estimates by the EPA ranged between $3.4 and $25 billion annually. The only way EPA could justify the regulation was to use questionable cobenefits.

In reducing ozone, there may also be benefits from reductions of other pollutants, in this case particulate matter (PM). However, the EPA already has another set of regulations dealing exclusively with PM.

Either the EPA has woefully inadequate standards for PM or it is effectively “double counting” the health benefits of PM reductions to justify the ozone regulation.

The EPA had to use questionable co-benefits to justify the regulation because of the tremendous reductions in ozone already achieved. Since 1980, ozone concentrations have fallen by 33%. In many areas across the county, ozone concentrations are nearing background levels – concentrations resulting from natural and nonlocal manmade sources.

Before finalizing the current regulation, EPA was considering an ozone standard so strict Yellowstone National Park would have been noncompliant.

Many states are still working to implement the 2008 standard of 75 ppb. 177 counties, which contain just under one-third of the U.S. population, are designed as nonattainment areas under the 2008 standard. By making the ozone standard stricter, the EPA has made it significantly harder for these counties to be in compliance and ignores their hard work at meeting the prior standard.

The ozone regulation places a tremendous burden on communities across America. The result of a nonattainment designation can be disastrous and bring economic activity to a halt. Local governments risk losing federal highway funds. Oil and gas operations, with the royalty and tax revenue they bring, may cease. Manufacturers may be forced to relocate or shut down, destroying jobs in the process.

Given the harmful economic effects, we ask that you consider measures to change the ozone standard and reform the rulemaking process.

Currently, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016 (H.R. 4775, S. 2882) is one such measure that achieves these objectives. The legislation would push back the attainment deadline for states and require economic feasibility to be considered. Additionally, it would bring much needed reform to the rulemaking process by changing the review period for pollutants under NAAQS from every 5 years to every 10.

Thank you for your consideration and work on this important issue.


Brent Gardner, Vice President of Government Affairs
Americans for Prosperity

Amy Noone Frederick, President
60 Plus Association

Alex St. James, Chairman Emeritus
African-American Republican Leadership Council (AARLC)

Dick Patten, President
American Business Defense Council

Phil Kerpen, President
American Commitment

George David Banks, Executive Vice President
American Council for Capital Formation

Sean Noble, President
American Encore

Tom Pyle, President
American Energy Alliance

Coley Jackson, President
Americans for Competitive Enterprise

Peter J. Thomas, Chairman
Americans for Constitutional Liberty

Richard Manning, President
Americans for Limited Government

Grover Norquist, President
Americans for Tax Reform

Dan Weber, CEO
Association of Mature American Citizens

Alex St. James, Executive Director
Blacks Economic-Security Today Trust Fund (BEST Trust Fund)

Jeffrey Mazzella, President
Center for Individual Freedom

Peter Nelson, Vice President and Senior Policy Fellow
Center of the American Experiment (Minnesota)

Marita Noon, Executive Director
Citizens' Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE)

Col. Francis X. De Luca USMCR(Ret), President
Civitas Institute

Matt Anderson, Policy Analyst
Coalition for Self-Government in the West

Tom Brinkman Jr., Chairman
Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST)

Craig Rucker, Executive Director, Co-Founder
Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT)

Myron Ebell, Director, Center for Energy and Environment
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Tom Schatz, President
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Craig Richardson, Executive Director
Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal)

Marita Noon, Executive Director
Energy Makes America Great

Dick Ribbentrop, Senior Vice President, Policy
Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce

Wayne T. Brough, Ph.D., Chief Economist and VP for Research

George Landrith, President
Frontiers of Freedom

Mario H. Lopez, President
Hispanic Leadership Fund

Wayne Hoffman, President
Idaho Freedom Foundation

Amy Oliver Cooke, Executive Vice President and Director, Energy Policy Center
Independence Institute

Carrie Lukas, Managing Director
Independent Women's Forum

Heather Higgens, President and CEO
Independent Women’s Voice

Andrew Langer, President
Institute for Liberty

Sal J. Nuzzo, Vice President of Policy
James Madison Institute (Florida)

Kory Swanson, President/CEO
John Locke Foundation (North Carolina)

Dave Trabert, President
Kansas Policy Institute

Seton Motley, President
Less Government

Colin A. Hanna, President
Let Freedom Ring

Connor Boyack, President
Libertas Institute

Dee Hodges, President
Maryland Taxpayers Association

Forest Thigpen, President
Mississippi Center for Public Policy

Brent Mead, CEO
Montana Policy Institute

Harry C. Alford, President/CEO
National Black Chamber of Commerce

Amy Ridenour, Chairman
National Center for Public Policy Research

Willes K. Lee, President
National Federation of Republican Assemblies

Pete Sepp, President
National Taxpayers Union

Kevin P. Kane, President
Pelican Institute for Public Policy (Louisiana)

Mike Stenhouse, CEO
Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Paul J. Gessing, President
Rio Grande Foundation (New Mexico)

William Whipple III, President
Secure America's Future Economy

David Williams, President
Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Judson Phillips, Founder
Tea Party Nation

John Colyandro, Executive Director
Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute

Brooke Rollins, President
Texas Public Policy Foundation

Joseph Bast, President and CEO
The Heartland Institute

Daniel Garza, Executive Director
The LIBRE Initiative

Matthew Gagnon, CEO
The Maine Heritage Policy Center

Michael W. Thompson, Chairman and President
Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy (Virginia)

Carl Bearden, Executive Director
United for Missouri