Our guest bloggers are Daniel J. Weiss, Arpita Bhattacharyya, and Raj Salhotra with the Center for American Progress.
Big Oil is leading the charge against science-based ozone standards by claiming the new protections would wreak economic havoc. Similar claims were made when the 1997 health standards were set. A Center for American Progress analysis of economic data found that industries’ predictions about the economic impact of the 1997 ozone standard did not occur. Average GDP per capita in the metropolitan areas in nonattainment grew by .07 percent from 2004-2008, while it grew by .87 percent nationwide — less than a 1 percent difference. Unemployment in those areas grew by 2.21 percent from 2004-2008, while unemployment nationwide grew by 2.3 percent. In other words, unemployment grew by slightly more across the nation than in the 54 areas affected by the 1997 ozone standard:
This suggests that their recent, similar attacks on the pending ozone standard also lack credibility. The polluter front groups — the American Petroleum Institute, Business Roundtable, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and National Association of Manufacturers — are recycling their old attacks, even though they’ve been disproved:
|Lobby group||1997 claims||2011 claims|
|American Petroleum Institute||
API’s 1996 study that concluded “It is clear that implementation of a one-exceedance form of either a 0.08 or 0.09 ppm eight-hour ozone standard will have significant socio-economic impacts on U.S. society.”
Comment to the EPA, March 12, 1997
“EPA has rushed to judgment a rulemaking that is unjustified on a scientific basis and is so far-reaching in its potential impact on every sector of the economy and every level of government that adequate time for review to consider the wisdom of taking such an action is of the utmost importance.”
“Fewer businesses would invest in new projects, all of which would mean fewer new jobs,” said Khary Cauthen, American Petroleum Institute’s director of federal relations.
“It’s pretty simple, it’s purely discretionary and it sits on the president’s desk,” said American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard. “He now has the choice: jobs or no jobs, it’s up to him.”
|Business Roundtable||Supporters of protection from air pollution for children, seniors, and asthmatics “won’t be satisfied until we’re in horses and buggies and have no industries in our state.” Spokesperson for Gov. John Engler (R-MI).||“If a company cannot meet the requirements, then it must either shelve its plans and the jobs the plans would create, or move to another part of the country where it will be in compliance,” said John Engler, former Michigan governor and now president of the Business Roundtable.|
|Chamber of Commerce||“Many of the new ‘nonattainment areas’ have no experience in dealing with such stringent regulations, thus many businesses will move to ‘cleaner’ districts or relocate to other states.” The California Chamber of Commerce.||“These new out-of-cycle EPA standards create tremendous uncertainty and threaten business investment decisions and hiring decisions… when the private sector is burdened with unnecessary regulations, businesses can’t invest and hire,” said Bruce Josten, the Chamber’s executive vice president for Government Affairs.|
|National Association of Manufacturers||
The proposed standards would restrict “using one’s fireplace and using a power mower to shooting off fireworks and enjoying back-yard barbecues on the Fourth of July.” President of the National Association of Manufacturers.
Comment to the EPA, December 30, 1996. Growth rates for cities may not be sustainable if manufacturing jobs and other small business jobs are not created.
“By moving forward with raising the standards on ozone levels, the EPA is only adding economic turmoil to the nation’s struggling job market.”
“The proposed ozone standard could result in millions of lost jobs costs.” National Association of Manufacturers, or (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons.
As the United States warms, smog pollution grows more dangerous. A more protective smog standard has the overwhelming support of Americans. History shows that the new ozone health standard is unlikely to have much negative economic impact, but will save thousands of lives and billions of dollars in lower health care costs. The Obama administration must ignore the tired, disproven pleadings of Big Oil and other special interests, and instead set an ozone health standard based on the science to provide additional protection to all Americans.
Read the full report, Big Oil’s Smoggy Notions Proved False (Again…).