NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Congress Should Rein in EPA

January 14, 2011

After being reenergized by President Obama's support for an activist "green" policy agenda, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed or already approved new regulations that promise to hobble economic growth and add to the nation's unemployment problem, says William F. Shughart II, a senior fellow at the Independent Institute.

Consider the following: 

  • The EPA is proposing a reduction in the national ambient-air-quality standard for ground-level ozone, a precursor of smog, which would require industries and many small businesses to adopt new, costly emission controls. Potential fallout: the Manufacturers Alliance, an organization that for 75 years has conducted economic research, estimates 7.3 million jobs lost beginning in 2020.
  • The EPA just raised the amount of corn-based ethanol that must be blended with gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent for 2007 and newer vehicles. Projected cost: around $5 billion a year in federal subsidies.
  • It is reviewing federal legislation proposing to regulate so-called hydraulic fracturing in natural-gas production. Potential cost: in Appalachia's Marcellus Shale zone alone, EPA regulation would destroy 280,000 potential jobs and reduce tax revenues by $6 billion over the next decade, according to a study by Natural Resource Economics.

These are just a handful of the costly, job-killing regulations the EPA has imposed or is preparing to impose.  Many of the initiatives are aimed directly at the oil and natural gas sector, which is an important driver of job growth and accounts for 85 percent of our nation's energy supplies, says Shughart.

Source: William F. Shughart II, "Congress Should Rein in EPA," Independent Institute, January 9, 2011.

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