CEI on Ozone Bill H.R. 806: Excellent, Past Due

The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s William Yeatman offered the following comments on the ozone bill in the House:

“Rep. Pete Olson’s excellent bill is well past due. All told, H.R. 806 is a welcome re-assertion of congressional control over an important policy decision. Elected lawmakers, rather than unelected bureaucrats, are best positioned to render hugely consequential policy decisions that require a balancing of interests.

Congress delegated too much authority to the EPA in setting national ozone standards. While science must inform an ozone standard, such a determination is a policy decision, and scores of billions of dollars are at stake. However, a 2001 Supreme Court decision interpreted the Clean Air Act to prohibit the consideration of costs when setting an ozone standard. Such a one-sided analysis makes little sense; quite literally, the agency is foreclosed from considering costs, even if the costs far outweigh the benefits. As interpreted by the Court, the agency also is prohibited from considering the current state of compliance—i.e., the standard can tighten, even if much of the country is out of compliance with the existing standard.

Rep. Olson’s H.R. 806, Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017 would introduce common sense into the ozone regulatory process. In addition to requiring the agency to consider the ‘social’ and ‘economic’ impacts of ozone standards before it reviews them, the bill would afford states the requisite time to achieve the 2008 ozone standards before they undertake the 2015 revised standards.”

See more from CEI on ozone: