The American Petroleum Institute (API) welcomed the passage of the Ozone Standards Implementation Act out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The legislation gives states the flexibility they need to implement the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) more efficiently.


“The U.S. energy renaissance has proven that we can lead the world in the production and refining of oil and natural gas, while lowering carbon emissions and ozone levels,” said API Senior Director of Regulatory & Scientific Affairs Howard Feldman. “Prioritizing this legislation is another step in the right direction for making the economic, jobs and consumer benefits of oil and natural gas achievable.”


U.S. air pollutants have fallen by 71% between 1970 and 2015, while increased use of domestic natural gas has helped reduce ozone concentrations in the air by 17% since 2005. Behind this is an industry investment of more than $321 billion that has improved the environmental performance of its products, facilities and operations between 1990 and 2015.


The latest ozone standards, which approach background levels in many areas, could place even rural, undeveloped areas out of compliance and could place new restrictions on virtually any economic activity. The Ozone Standards Implementation Act introduced by Representative Pete Olson (R-Texas) recognizes flaws in the current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations that are burdening state agencies and local economies with the obligation to develop and implement two different but concurrent ozone programs.


“API is committed to working with Congress and EPA to continue improvements to air quality, and we are hopeful that the full House will quickly pass this forward-thinking legislation,” said Feldman. 


API has long stated that the dual deadlines pertaining to the 2008 and 2015 ozone NAAQS are burdensome and costly for states to implement.


API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry.