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Key Vote: NO on Edwards Ozone Amendment
Vote h401-2015

This week, Congress will consider amendments to H.R. 2282, FY 2016 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. An amendment offered by Rep. Edwards would remove an important policy rider that prevents EPA from pursuing new Ozone standards until at least 85 percent of counties that were in non-attainment areas in July 2014 meet the current standards.

The Obama administration is currently pursuing new regulatory standards for ozone despite the fact that many parts of the country have not yet met the current standards. It could be the most expensive regulation in U.S. history.

A recent analysis by NERA Economic Consulting shows the extent of the damage. Cutting the ozone standard by 20 percent to 60 parts per billion, as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering, would slash economic growth by $270 billion per year, destroy 2.9 million jobs annually, and leave families with $1,570 less per year to spend on groceries and gas. Meanwhile, ozone emissions are down 33 percent over the last three decades without these stricter standards.

EPA’s ozone rule threatens to put huge swaths of the United States in “non-attainment,” which would force states and localities to implement various pollution control measures (many of which the EPA has yet to define). That could force businesses to shut down and communities to stop building roads and schools. The proposed standard is so strict that it even threatens areas like Yellowstone National Park, where little industrial activity is occurring.

In addition, the new ozone standards could conflict with the administration’s power plant regulations, making them even harder and more expensive to meet.

The proposed ozone rule is an all-pain, no-gain proposition. It is senseless and reckless to threaten jobs and economic growth while our environment is already improving without further federal intervention. The American Energy Alliance urges members to vote NO on the Edwards amendment. It will be included in our American Energy Scorecard. NO is the pro-consumer, pro-economic development, pro-energy vote.

The amendment offered by Rep. Edwards would strike section 438 of the bill:


SEC. 438. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to propose, promulgate, implement, administer, or enforce a national primary or secondary ambient air quality standard for ozone that is lower than the standard established under section 50.15 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations (as in effect on July 2, 2014), until at least 85 percent of the counties that were nonattainment areas under that standard as of July 2, 2014, achieve full compliance with that standard.

AEA Position: No

Vote result on 2015-07-08


(180 to 249)

  • Voted Yes
  • Voted No
  • Did Not Vote