Jul 31, 2014 2:01 PM by KATC
A new study commissioned by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry says Louisiana manufacturers and residents could face significant economic consequences if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) moves to lower its ground-level ozone standard later this year.
The study, conducted by NERA Economic Consulting and also done for the National Association of Manufacturers, finds that a new EPA ozone standard set at 60 parts per billion (ppb) - below the current standard that many states are still working to meet - could cost trillions of dollars. At these costs, a new ozone standard could be the most costly regulation in the nation's history.
"New technologies in the manufacturing and energy sectors are making Louisiana more competitive for investment than ever before. We now employ more than 2 million people for the first time in our state's history and that growth is only beginning, in large part thanks to a strong energy and manufacturing sector," said LABI President Stephen Waguespack. "This rule would undermine our work to expand Louisiana's economy and train a qualified workforce for the jobs of tomorrow."
In Louisiana, a new federal ozone standard could put 117,000 job equivalents at risk annually and cost the state's businesses $189 billion in added compliance costs, according to the study. A stricter ozone standard could also reduce U.S. Gross Domestic Product by as much as $3.4 trillion through 2040 and dramatically increase energy costs across all sectors.
To read the executive summary of the study, click here. To read the full report, click here.