Jan 15, 2010

The EPA and Smog Control

We congratulate the EPA of the Obama administration for attempting to strengthen the requirements of parts per billion of ground level ozone to as low as 60 -70 ppb down from the 75 ppb allowed by the Bush administration.

"That means cracking down even further on the emissions from power plants, factories, landfills and motor vehicles which bake in sunlight and form smog.

Obama administration officials and environmental groups say the new standards align with the levels scientists say are needed to safeguard against increased respiratory diseases, particularly in children, and that they could save $100 billion in heath costs over time. The EPA also said compliance costs could total up to $90 billion nationwide........"

"The EPA also proposed setting a "secondary standard" to protect plants and trees from repeated smog exposure during growing season, a move environmentalists said would boost national parks, forests and sensitive ecosystems."

The oil and gas lobby obviously complained:

"The American Petroleum Institute said in a press release that the proposal "lacks scientific justification" and that "there is absolutely no basis for EPA to propose changing the ozone standards promulgated by the EPA Administrator in 2008. To do so is an obvious politicization of the air quality standard setting process that could mean unnecessary energy cost increases, job losses and less domestic oil and natural gas development and energy security."

It intrigues us how when a move is set to save the lives of people, animals, and plants but is costing the oil and gas industry money to comply or better yet lessening their hold on our lives, then they call it a "politicization". Why don't they welcome the saving of lives?

In defense of the concerns of industry over the possible increased costs for these measures, the correct direction is to have a worldwide body that monitors pollution levels from the manufacturers of all countries and then the US would be on a more level playing field.

Guess that is really what the Copenhagen summit was directed to do although with only minimal success.

Our information for this blog comes largely from a 1-7-10 LA Times article by jtankersley@latimes.com

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