U.S. Chamber Praises White House Decision to Withdraw Potentially Disastrous Ozone Standards

Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 8:00pm

Donohue Calls Move a 'Big First Step in What Needs to be a Broader Regulatory Reform Effort'

WASHINGTON, DC—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue issued the following statement today following the President requesting that EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson withdraw the draft Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards:

“The U.S. Chamber is glad the White House heeded our warning and withdrew these potentially disastrous – and completely voluntary – actions from the EPA.

“This an enormous victory for America’s job creators, the right decision by the President, and one that will help reduce the uncertainty facing businesses. It’s also a big first step in what needs to be a broader regulatory reform effort.

“If today’s employment report reveals anything, it’s that our economy is in neutral. Private sector studies predicted that the standards would have cost as many as 7.3 million American jobs by 2020. I'm pleased the administration recognizes that now is not the time to burden America’s job creators with unwarranted regulations.

“It is worth noting that the President agreed with just about every one of the Chamber’s arguments against a new ozone standard. As the President notes, we are now almost three years into the current five-year cycle for another ozone standard, so if EPA were to change the standard, it would have to presumably do it again in two years. This creates tremendous uncertainty for business."

The Chamber also pointed out that by merging this rulemaking with the statutorily-required one due in 2013, EPA can base its decision on the most recent science, not 2006 science. This is what the Clean Air Act requires, and is consistent with the President’s recent Executive Order on Improving Regulation (EO 13563). Businesses are already making investments to comply with the 2008 standard, and EPA’s proposed upheaval of that standard would have thrown even more costs and uncertainty at job creators. Even the EPA’s own data showed that its proposal would have cost businesses up to $90 billion a year in compliance costs.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.