The Obama administration released its spring regulatory agenda Friday, including its costliest regulation to date, just as Americans are getting ready to celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend.
The Spring 2015 Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan includes more than 2,300 regulations that are in a variety of phases and also includes the administration's plans for implementing the various regulations going forward, The Daily Caller
This is not the first time the Obama administration has released its regulatory agenda right before a major holiday, when such things might go unnoticed.
In 2014, the fall regulatory agenda was released right before Thanksgiving Day and the spring agenda was also released right before Memorial Day weekend.
While the number of regulations are down compared to the agenda released in the fall, The Daily Caller notes that the most recent edition contains what could be the most expensive regulation in U.S. history, which is a proposed change to the ozone pollution standards by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Under the EPA's proposal, the national ambient ozone standard will be reduced from 75 parts per billion to 65 to 70 parts per billion.
This reduction, the EPA claims, will result in significantly fewer asthma attacks each year — from 320,000 to 960,000. It will also help prevent "more than 750 to 4,300 premature deaths; 1,400 to 4,300 asthma-related emergency room visits; and 65,000 to 180,000 missed workdays."
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy wrote in an opinion piece for CNN
when the rule was first released in November 2014 that the reason for the proposed change is "to clean up our air, improve access to crucial air quality information, and protect those most at-risk — our children, our elderly, and people already suffering from lung diseases like asthma."
"Bringing ozone pollution standards in line with the latest science is more than just a legal requirement; it empowers the American people," McCarthy added.
States will be given until 2020 to 2037 to make the necessary changes to meet the new air quality standards.
However, the American Action Forum
issued a report in January saying that the rules are so extreme that even national parks would struggle to comply.
"Hardly transportation corridors and centers of heavy pollution, many observers would be surprised to know that Death Valley National Park, Sequoia National Park, and Cape Cod National Seashore have ozone readings of 71 to 87 ppb," AAF wrote.
The National Association of Manufacturers
issued a report predicting that the EPA's proposed ozone pollution standard will reduce the GDP by $140 billion per year from 2017 to 2040 for a total of $1.7 trillion, making it the "costliest" regulation in U.S. history.
In addition, NAM says that the regulation will also "eliminate 1.4 million job equivalents per year."
The group also argues that if the current rules on the books were just left the way they are, that alone would help improve air quality.
"Ozone-forming emissions have already been cut in half since 1980, and dozens of regulations already on the books will drive improvements to ozone levels over the next decade," NAM wrote in its report.
"If the EPA simply let the current law be implemented, emissions would be cut by another 36 percent from current levels. In some parts of the country, air quality is already at or approaching background or natural levels."
According to The Daily Caller, the EPA has said that the cost of reaching the new air quality standards will only be $16.6 billion, but the health benefits will be worth $38 billion.
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