WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) hosted a panel discussion in conjunction with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's 45th Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, DC, exploring the impact of regulation on the economy. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set to finalize their proposal on the National Air Ambient Quality Standard on October 1st, which will drastically lower standards for ground level ozone, inhibiting job growth and creation in metropolitan areas around the country. In fact, a study issued by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) earlier this year found that EPA's proposed rule would cut 1.4 million jobs annually across the country.
"As President Obama focuses his energy on his Administration's legacy including addressing issues around reforming our criminal justice system, it's just as important that he remembers the need for good paying jobs and employment opportunities for communities of color," said Paula Jackson, president and CEO of the American Association of Blacks in Energy. "But unfortunately, some of the EPA's regulations such as the proposed ozone rule would hinder job and economic growth, especially in major metropolitan cities across the country."
Despite a steady decrease in ozone levels for the last three decades, the Administration is pushing for a new standard between 65 and 70 parts per billion. However, several communities have struggled to achieve the current standard of 75 parts per billion, of which the deadline to reach was this year. Additionally, it was just this spring that the EPA finally provided guidance to states for the 2008 ozone standard.
"There's no doubt that President Obama's leadership has brought a renewed focus to many major issues that plague urban America - one of which is a disproportionately high unemployment rate. The President's initiatives and policies have demonstrated his desire to uplift communities of color, but a regulation like the EPA's ozone proposal could hurt the very people that we are all seeking to help," said Columbia, South Carolina Mayor Steve Benjamin. "What has been called the costliest regulation in American history could potentially stunt job creation for people that need economic prosperity the most," he added.
Other panelists from today's event included the chair of the AABE board of directors, George Williams, CEO of PMI Energy Solutions, Brenda Scott-Henry, director of the Department of Environmental and Green Urbanism for the City of Gary, Indiana, Khary Cauthen, senior director of Federal Relations for the American Petroleum Institute, and former Congressional Black Caucus member and Maryland Congressman, Albert Wynn.
The American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) is a national association of energy professionals founded and dedicated to ensure the input of African Americans and other minorities into the discussions and developments of energy policies regulations, R&D technologies, and environmental issues.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/aabe-proposed-epa-regulations-are-a-black-hole-for-metropolitan-areas-300145711.html
SOURCE American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE)