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    Capital Region Planning Commission Responds to EPA's Proposed Ozone Standard

    On March 16th, Dr. Mike McDaniel, Ph.D., drafted the Capital Region Planning Commission's (CRPC) response to EPA's proposed standard.  The current air quality standard is set for 75 parts per billion, and the proposed standard calls for a range between 70 and 60 parts per billion; a major drop in ozone.  

    In the report drafted by McDaniel on CRPC's behalf, he questions the perceived benefits of lowering the standard.  McDaniel and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality dug deeper to see if the lower standard would actually improve public health.  They found that the new standard would provide little to no health benefits, and in addition to this, would make disturbing effects to the state's economy.  

    NERA Economic Consulting for the National Association of Manufacturers described what would happen to Louisiana's economy if the new standard was put into effect. Below are a few highlights of the possibilities from the new standard:

    • "Manufacturers won't be able to expand without a reduction of emissions or shut down operations from other businesses in the area
    • Plans for new plants or expansions at existing plants will be shelved
    • Federal highway funds could freeze 
    • Existing facilities will have to change processes and pay for new equipment
    • Economic growth will halt"

     

    Further, the NAMs report predicts that the new ozone regulations could cost Louisiana: 

    • "$53 billion in Gross State Products (GSP) by 2017 to 2040
    • 116,983 lost jobs or job equivalents per year
    • 189 billion in total compliance costs
    • $2,360 drop in the average household consumption per year
    • 10 billion more for residents to own and operate their vehicles statewide (2017 to 2040)
    • Up to 15% increase in residential natural gas prices (national average)
    • Up to 32% increase in residential natural gas prices (national average) 
    • Shutdown of 80% of Louisiana's coal-fired generating capacity"

     

    Once more, if the new standard is put into effect with the EPA's Clean Power Plant Rule (rule to lower CO2 emissions) we could see these results: 

    • "Average annual Louisiana household electricity and gas bills would increase by more than $750 in 2020
    • The total annual cost of power and gas will grow to over $24 billion in 2020
    • The average annual residential electricity bill will increase by 36%
    • The average annual gas bill will increase by 80%
    • The average industrial electricity rate (per kWh) will increase by 48%Power sources will change dramatically – natural gas generation is expected to increase by more than 140% in Louisiana at the same time that EPA expects wholesale natural gas prices to more than double."

     

    For these reasons, CRPC has requested that EPA "forgo or postpone" the new standard.  

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