President Obama announced today his administration will temporarily withdraw a proposed regulation tightening air pollution standards, which could have cost the economy as much as $90 billion per year.   The tougher standards could make a comeback in two years, however.

The proposed rule on ozone standards was the most expensive item on a list of pending federal regulations.  Business strongly opposed the rule, which would have required new emissions controls, cleaner fuels in power stations, and more frequent automobile inspections as states and localities sought to comply with the tighter standards for ozone in the atmosphere.  Obama announced today (http://tinyurl.com/EPAozone-rule) that he has directed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw the rule, but noted that  EPA updates the regulations every five years. The Bush Administration reviewed the rule in 2008.

“Work is already underway to update a 2006 review of the science that will result in the reconsideration of the ozone standard in 2013,” Obama said.  “Ultimately, I did not support asking state and local governments to begin implementing a new standard that will soon be reconsidered.”

Another EPA rule tightening air pollution standards for electricity generating stations would cost $10 billion per year, according to a list of regulations costing $1 billion per year or more that president released earlier in the week.   Two other EPA air pollution rules would cost up to $4.5 billion, according to a letter from Obama to House Speaker John Boehner, who requested the list.

The Department of Transportation is considering three rules in the billion-plus category, including its rule on hours of service by truck drivers, which is estimated to cost $1 billion,  plus a separate $2 billion rule on electronic on-board recorders and supporting documents for hours of service.  Also on the list is a rule on rear-view mirrors that is estimated to cost $1 billion per year.

The seven rules are the tip of the iceberg of federal rulemaking, which includes more than 200 pending regulations that are considered “economically significant” under federal standards.

“At a time like this, with our economy struggling to create jobs, it’s misguided for the federal government to be imposing so many new rules with such enormous costs, even when some of those rules may be well-intentioned,” Boehner said. “I believe it is the administration’s responsibility to now make public the detailed cost estimates for all 219 of the new ‘economically significant’ regulatory actions it has planned, so that the American people can see the total cost of these government rules on private-sector job creation in our country.”

 

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