The American Petroleum Institute (API) welcomed the discussion before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment on the Ozone Standards Implementation Act introduced by Representative Pete Olson (R-Texas). API Senior Director of Regulatory & Scientific Affairs Howard Feldman said that the bill is a path forward to giving state and local regulators adequate time and flexibility to implement new ozone standards while protecting jobs and not obstructing economic growth.

 

“Our nation’s air continues to get cleaner and U.S. carbon emissions from energy use are at their lowest point in more than 20 years,” said Feldman. “Proposals for protecting states and businesses from duplicative and costly new regulations are steps in the right direction. Removing hurdles for job creation and supporting local economies through environmentally responsible manufacturing, infrastructure and energy projects should be top priorities.”

 

Although ozone emissions declined by 17% between 2000 and 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued stringent new regulations in 2015 before the previous regulations had been fully implemented, saddling state agencies and local economies with the obligation to develop two different but concurrent ozone programs. 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. 

 

“Technological innovation and industry efforts can continue to protect public health and reduce emissions without costly government regulations that could jeopardize economic growth,” said Feldman. “API looks forward to working with Congress and EPA as they enact forward-thinking approaches that can meet the nation’s environmental and energy needs.”