When we think about future generations we want them to live happy, prosperous lives in a safe atmosphere. In fact, 3 in 4 Hispanics believe we need to do whatever it takes to protect the environment. Thankfully, the environment in which we live has already been improving by many measures. Take, for instance, air quality in the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that air has improved consistently over decades – even with increases in vehicle miles traveled, energy consumption, and a growing population. So why is the very same agency still pushing one of the costliest regulations in history to achieve what is already happening on its own?
The EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for Ozone has uncertain benefits, but likely economic damage. The regulation creates an unnecessarily strict ozone standard (one that would even designate Yellowstone National Park as a noncompliant area) that makes it very difficult for some counties to comply. The damage would be concentrated in these communities across the United States, which is why The LIBRE Initiative joined 60 other organizations in urging action to reform this regulation. From the letter:
The result of a nonattainment designation can be disastrous and bring economic activity to a halt. Local governments risk losing federal highway funds. Oil and gas operations, with the royalty and tax revenue they bring, may cease. Manufacturers may be forced to relocate or shut down, destroying jobs in the process.
Tell that to the nearly 2.5 million Hispanics currently employed in manufacturing jobs. Or a parent who just recently landed one of the relatively few jobs added to the economy for April. Or one of the 1 million Hispanics who are working part-time, but actively looking for more.
Clearly, the EPA is out of touch with the millions of Americans who still struggle in the midst of this administration’s economic policies and zealous regulatory activity. Considering many Americans will feel a lot of economic pain in exchange for a negligible impact on air quality, the proposed EPA regulation is unwise as it stands. Worse still is the fact that those in certain communities across the U.S. would disproportionately bear the costs of the regulation – all for the stated goal of improving air quality, a goal the EPA admits is already taking place. It is time for those at the EPA to take into account the real, personal consequences of rules like these to the average family.