Reason Writers Around Town: EPA Jumps the Gun with Job-Killing Rules


In today's Washington Times, Reason Foundation research associate Adam Peshek writes:

Twice this year, President Obama asked federal agencies to review regulations to ensure that they are not interfering with efforts to rebuild the U.S. economy. In January, he signed an executive order directing agencies to use the "least burdensome tools" that take "into account benefits and cost" and "[promote] economic growth … and job creation."

Either the Environmental Protection Agency didn't get the memo or it was lost under the growing stack of regulations the agency is advancing at record speed.

Last week, the EPA said it would soon release updated ozone regulations that are going to kill jobs and impose substantial costs on the U.S. economy—at least $90 billion, by its own estimates, and $1 trillion annually between 2020 and 2030 according to industry estimates.

"Good" ozone in the upper atmosphere protects us from ultraviolet radiation, but at ground level it can affect human health and is the main constituent of urban smog. This "bad" ozone comes mostly from vehicle exhaust and industrial emissions, but can also come from natural sources.

The EPA has already missed four self-imposed deadlines (most recently last month) to impose new standards. And environmentalists are not happy about this. Earthjustice and other environmental groups have demanded that the EPA immediately release their rule, stating that the agency "has run out of excuses for any more stalling on this decision."

But this is hubris. EPA is under no obligation to develop new regulations at this time. The Clean Air Act—the legal basis for most federal air quality regulations—requires the EPA to review national air quality standards every five years. If they find that current thresholds are detrimental to health, the EPA can go through the process of setting a new, scientifically-backed standard. The last time these standards were reviewed was three years ago. Legally, EPA is not obliged to initiate a review for another two years.

So, why is it doing so now? Is smog on the rise? Nope. According to the EPA, ozone levels have been falling year after year. Since 1980, ozone emissions have fallen by nearly 50 percent.

Full column here

NEXT: Another Global Warming Menace: Space Aliens!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Have to appease the greens before the election. And the newly unemployed are going to want better unemployment benefits…

    1. Or they might be afraid of the green aliens.

      1. I, for one, believe that green aliens are already among us.

        1. So does Captain Kirk. In fact, he knows it.

          1. In the biblical sense.

  2. Grumble, grumble, grumble …

  3. EPA? haate it (finger snaps)

  4. “In January, he signed an executive order directing agencies to use the “least burdensome tools” that take “into account benefits and cost” and “[promote] economic growth ? and job creation.”

    Like any agency, the EPA’s primary mandate is justifying it’s own budget in the face of budget cuts.

    If Barack Obama thinks the EPA is capable of monitoring its own impact on business, then he’s even more ignorant and naive than I thought!

    1. The EPA isn’t capable of monitoring its own “employees.” I lived in a superfund site in Idaho and got to deal with these…uh…unrepentant dipshits (politest phrase I can think of). They replaced my lawn;and if I didn’t let them there would be “fees” levied and they would eventually show up with the local constabulary to get “consent” for them to replace the lawn. After they removed the lawn and replace the soil, I had some very nice dirt instead of a lawn. It started to rain and the EPA apparently doesn’t lay sod in the rain. But the EPA didn’t stop the water trucks from delivering (from 200 miles away, mind you. So a 400 mile round trip.) and I was lucky, I managed to stop them from watering my mud for a few days. However, I did miss them one day, and the water delivery truck watered my mud, watered it all the way into my basement, actually. To get to the point, The EPA has “scientists” working for them that can argue over what constitutes “wet dirt” and mud, and that is a lengthy process to get them to come to a consensus over what is “wet dirt” or mud. After talking with a lawyer and an insurance adjuster, I decided it was best to eat the cost. “Government stupidity” is not covered by any insurance I have ever heard of, and the lawyer told me that there is a horde of EPA lawyers. So, I just hired a guy to fix my basement, so a couple of temp jobs were created to Obama’s “credit.” If president Mother Hen thinks the EPA is capable of what figuring out what mud is, he is either an asshole or a so stupid his head is going to collapse into itself. The superfund site is in the Silver Valley, North Idaho. Or Shoshone county, Idaho…if it needs to be looked up to confirm this…and a fun side note, there is a study about bears crossing the highway that is getting a grant.

  5. This will provide the incentive we need to build that magical “smart grid” I keep hearing about.

  6. So, why is it doing so now?

    Because they have just over a year before the get muzzled again.

  7. This raises a question: How much of a drag on our economy are unfunded mandates?

    1. Your question raises another question: Would unfunded mandates even exist if the Senators were still appointed by the state legislatures?

      1. Not for states. The rest of us, probably.


    Apparently charging $40K for a piece of shit is an unsustainable business model.

  9. charging $40K for a piece of shit is an unsustainable business model.

    The best part is the price would probably have to be about triple that, if the production costs of those cars weren’t being subsidized by sales of evil gas-guzzling pickup trucks and Suburbans.

    1. For 2012, the Chevy will drop to $39,995, a $1,005 cut, though it is still thousands more than the Leaf ? and nearly double the price of a base Chevrolet Cruze compact, which shares the same underpinnings as Volt.

      Doubling the price of the base unit by adding an electric drive train and batteries will never be part of a viable business plan.

      1. There are people who will purchase a competing product that is more expensive simply because it is more expensive.
        It costs more so that means it’s better, right?

        1. There are plenty of people that buy “status”. The business model for the Volt depends upon these people. The article indicates that maybe these people aren’t so interested in buying Volts after all.

  10. Who in the heck came up with that I dea I wonder. Wow.

  11. Why buy a Volt when you can have an Fisker Karma?

    1. Sarc, how do you manage to spend so much time browsing for dailyfail articles to link, without suffering complete brain failure?

      1. It only takes a minute to scroll through.
        Besides, who says my frain hasn’t dailed?

        1. *bailed*

          1. I approve of this irony.

  12. I live in Illinois. There was snow on the ground here in January. Now it is gone. The government has done nothing to protect the environment. The snow is gone and nothing is being done about it.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.