Right Hooks

EPA Keeps Steamrolling Economy

Two more big regulations coming this week.

Nate Jackson · Sep. 30, 2015

Two regulatory commissars updates this week courtesy of the Economic Punishment Agency (EPA). First, The Hill reports, “The [EPA] has issued a new rule designed to slash toxic air pollution generated by petroleum refineries. The rule, which will be implemented in 2018, requires refiners to reduce toxic air pollutants by 5,200 tons and cut 50,000 tons of volatile organic compounds from the air every year.” The EPA estimates the rules will cost $63 million annually and insists it “will have a negligible impact on the cost of petroleum products,” but the American Petroleum Institute says the price tag will be closer to $1 billion, and, clearly, the rules will have enormous product-cost implications.

Second, the EPA is set to release new rules for the Clean Air Act’s standard for ozone, a.k.a. smog. “The national standard for ozone was last set in 2008 by the Bush administration at a level of 75 parts per billion,” reports The New York Times. Naturally, ecofascists wanted more stringent regulation. So, the Times notes, “In November, the Obama administration released a draft proposal of an updated ozone regulation, which would lower the current threshold for ozone pollution to 65 to 70 parts per billion. That range is less stringent than the standard of 60 parts per billion sought by environmental groups, but the environmental agency’s proposal also sought public comment on a 60 parts-per-billion plan, keeping open the possibility that the final rule could be stricter.” Such low thresholds require, in some cases, technology that doesn’t exist yet, and it immediately pushes many more areas of the country into violation.

Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric of the Left, it is always the poor who bear a disproportionate share of the burden for such regulations. Energy consumption is a far larger part of the budget for low-income Americans, and these rules continue to force prices upward. But Barack Obama did promise his policies would make electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket.”

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