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Smith Report 5.15.2014

New EPA Standards Would Kill Missouri Jobs
Nothing kills jobs faster than a Washington regulation. Since my election to Congress last June, I have fought unnecessary and intrusive Washington regulations that are out of step with our rural way of life in Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District. Washington wants to regulate everything from how we generate the power we need to run our homes and businesses, to how we are able to use our own land. Just recently, bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans to change air standards that would have a disastrous impact on manufacturing, farming, mining and construction jobs across the country.
The EPA plans to tighten National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone from the current 75 parts per billion to between 60 and 70 parts per billion. Lowering the air standards has the potential to detrimentally impact manufacturing, natural resources and mining, farming, and construction jobs.  In Missouri more than 150,000 jobs have the potential to be affected. Ground-level ozone can be created from manmade sources such as car fuel and industrial plants, but also biological sources including plants. Additionally, ozone levels naturally increase with warmer temperatures. We all cherish diverse natural resources in the Eighth District and want them to be around for future generations. However, the proposed standards set by the EPA are unachievable and unnecessary restrictions.
As with all government regulation, this proposed EPA plan comes at a high cost that will eventually reach taxpayers. When the EPA proposed making similar changes to ground-level ozone standards in 2011, it was estimated that the costs to comply would top $90 billion nationwide. In Missouri alone, the cost of implementing new standards could reach $1.9 billion. This negative impact on jobs and increased burden on taxpayers would be devastating. According to recent studies, all 30 counties in our Eighth Congressional District are likely to be out of compliance with a 60 parts per billion restriction. Let me tell you, I would much rather breathe the air in Missouri than air from New York or Los Angeles.
This week, I sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy urging her not to change current standards for ground-level ozone. Too often the EPA makes unfounded and unfair decisions that threaten our rural way of life. The EPA’s plan to tighten air quality standards in rural Missouri is a prime example of Washington being out of touch with reality. I will continue monitoring the EPA and their actions to ensure Missouri jobs and Missouri workers do not become victims of Washington’s war on rural America.