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Another EPA overreach: Ozone standards

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Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The EPA is expected to set out on a new climate crusade by year's end, seeking a sharp reduction in ozone that could be the most expensive, ineffectual environmental regulation in U.S. history, according to a study done for the National Association of Manufacturers.

The Environmental Protection Agency is required to review and — if “necessary” — revise standards for six pollutants, including ground-level ozone, a colorless, odorless gas exacerbated by certain emissions. In 2008, the EPA set an ozone standard of 75 parts per billion (ppb). Now there's talk of dropping that standard to as low as 60 ppb.

Never mind that the existing standard has not been fully implemented, according to The Daily Signal. By the EPA's own accounting, the lower standard would cost up to $90 billion annually to achieve. That explains why, in 2011, with his re-election looming, President Obama backed off this plan.

Among findings in a study by NERA Economic Consulting, the proposed ozone limit would reduce gross domestic product by $270 billion per year on average and impose $2.2 trillion in compliance costs from 2017 to 2040.

And after all's been said (and spent), what's proposed ultimately may prove impossible to achieve — even in rural areas.

Congress should determine whether such far-reaching mandates are warranted, not unelected bureaucrats who set delusional goals.

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