In a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner today, President Barack Obama revealed that the Environmental Protection Agency is considering a clean air rule that could cost up to $90 billion to implement.
The proposed regulation, “Reconsideration of the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard” would lower the allowable concentration of ozone from 0.075 parts-per-million to between 0.060 and 0.070 ppm. According to the EPA, the new standards are required to increase protection for children and “at-risk” populations against respiratory and cardiovascular diseases related to exposure to ozone in the air.
Obama said the primary cost estimate of implementation is between $19 billion and $90 billion.
The EPA says most ozone comes from three categories of sources — vehicle engines, industrial processes, and electrical power production. The rule would tighten emissions standards on all three categories — which would require technological changes, that critics say would cost jobs.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor called it “possibly the most harmful of all the currently anticipated Obama Administration regulations,” in a memo to House Republicans Monday, adding he will seek to repeal the legislation this Winter. Cantor said estimates put the cost of the rule at “$1 trillion or more over a decade and millions of jobs.”
The Manufacturers Alliance, a lobbying group for industry, put the cost of meeting the regulation at $1.013 trillion and 7.3 million jobs between 2020 and 2030 — numbers the Obama administration strongly contests.
Regardless, the rule would be among the costliest in recent memory — and has brought a spotlight to other Obama administration regulations.
In a statement, Speaker of the House John Boehner responded to Obama’s letter saying “we know from the Administration’s own disclosures that there are 212 other regulatory actions in the works, each with an estimated cost to our economy of more than $100 million.” Adding that “at a time like this, with our economy struggling to create jobs, it’s misguided for the federal government to be imposing so many new rules with such enormous costs, even when some of those rules may be well-intentioned.”