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A new National Association of Manufacturers study shows EPA regulations could be the costliest ever

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed changes to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) that would further reduce the amount of nitrogen oxides in the air throughout the U.S. According to the EPA, the estimated benefits of meeting the costs could be as much as $6.4 to $13 billion annually in 2025 if 70 parts per billion (ppb) of nitrogen is allowed into the air, and $19 to $38 billion annually in 2025 if the standard is lowered to 65 ppb. These standards could be met with the rules and programs already in place in most states, according to the EPA’s factsheet.

A study conducted by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) concluded that the change in regulations could make it the most costly set of rules in EPA history. According to the research done by NAM, the EPA’s proposed regulation could:

  • Reduce U.S. GDP by $140 billion per year and $1.7 trillion from 2017 to 2040;
  • Result in 1.4 million fewer job equivalents (job equivalent calculated as total labor income change divided by the average annual income per job) on average through 2040;
  • Cost the average U.S. household $830 per year in the form of lost consumption.

Source: NAM

Texas Smacked Hard by EPA Rules

States like Texas would be particularly hard hit. NAM estimates that the state would lose $286 billion in gross product loss from 2017 to 2040, lose nearly 350,000 jobs or job equivalents per year and cost $376 billion in total compliance costs.

NAM points out that emissions have already been cut in half since 1980, and will be cut an additional 36% if regulations are kept the way they are currently. The research also raises concerns over the more than 60% of emissions controls and technologies needed to meet the new regulations being “unknown,” or controls for which no cost information is already developed.

Representative Richard Hudson (R-NC) said that the new regulations could have far reaching effects. “New highway projects or construction of critical infrastructure will face months of delay. If one manufacturer wants to expand, it has to find another one that will cut back.”

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