It’s a federal regulation that specifies the acceptable ground-level ozone standard. Currently, the NAAQS benchmark is 75 parts/billion (ppb).
If those who worship at the altar of environmentalism and work for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have their way, the NAAQS benchmark will be reduced to 65-75ppb (or, by 7%-14%).
Many may be thinking, “So what? Who gives a flip? By the way, better air quality is a good thing!”
The EPA is happy that most people really don’t care, even though the EPA knows the cost of compliance will be ~$3.9B/year for the 70ppb benchmark and $15B/year if NAAQS is reduced to 65ppb. But, the EPA also estimates, those costs will be mitigated by savings to the nation’s healthcare bill, for example, reductions in lung disease and asthma. By 2025, those savings will be $13B at 70ppb and $38B at 65ppb (excluding California, which seems to be having problems meeting the 2008 standards).
Wow! That’ll bring the costs of Obamacare down! Won’t it?
Take a step back. Survey the terrain. Notice what has been happening of late and the past 6 years, in particlar, the era of “hope and change” spawned by those wizards of smart.
New federal regulations that increase the cost of doing business in the United States are being associated with estimated savings in national healthcare costs. With Obamacare now the law of the land, federal agencies are proposing and implementing new regulations to control the nation’s economy based upon alleged savings to the nation’s healthcare costs.
That’s the new narrative to sell an economic and political agenda people wouldn’t otherwise buy.
To wit: A study conducted for the National Association of Manufacturers indicates that the EPA’s proposed updates to emissions regulations will cost the domestic economy $140B/year over a 23-year, a total of $1.1T by 2014. A deviation from current standards could also reduce real wages by 0.6%. Although the NAM study doesn’t include health benefit projections, it does indicate that the EPA is lowballing compliance costs which could eclipse $1T by not accounting for “unknown” variables.
The stormy petrels are howling.
In an interview for US News, the President of the non-profit Clean Air Watch, Frank O’Donnell, asserts that the NAM study “completely exaggerated” costs and provided as ammunition to politicians opposed to such legislation. He said in the interview:
When they go to such hyperbole, I think it undercuts any valid points
it might make. And I think it is true that if the EPA went to 65 [parts per
billion], we would need more pollution cleanup than is currently
contemplated. We see that as a good thing. That money doesn’t just
go up in smoke. It gets spent on pollution-control devices and jobs. So
it’s just transferring, really, from some companies to others. And I think
there are ways we can move forward and make some pretty considerable
reductions without having any kind of broad negative impact on the
This is what liberal ideologues always do. It’s called the “boiled frog syndrome.” Don’t push for what’s really desired. Instead:
- Propose an ideal, in this instance, clean air. That is, place a frog in a pot of water.
- Once that ideal is implemented and a new normal is established, advance the agenda by proposing even tighter regulations. That is, turn the heat on to “low,” warming the water.
- As that becomes the new normal, press even further by proposing more highly restrictive regulations, putting a drag onto the nation’s economy. That is, turn the heat up to “high.”
- Over time, those regulations slowly cause the economy to falter. The federal government must then intervene to salvage what’s left by seizing control of key elements of the economy. That is, the frog dies.
It’s a shame middle-class folks don’t realize what’s going on. The free market is increasingly being shackled with more highly restrictive regulations. Ultimately, these increase taxes as well the cost of goods that taxpayers purchase.
If middle-class folks took a careful look at their pay stubs over the past 6 years, they’d realize they’re the frog.
Let the discussion begin…
To read the NAM study, click on the following link:
To read the US News article, click on the following link: