The White House is opposing a bill that it says would undermine the ground level ozone standards, which help reduce smog. It says that the measure, submitted in the US House, would delay implementation of the law for 10 years as well as much-need scientific research.
Ozone pollution has been linked to hospital stays and missed work, while also causing respiratory illness and cardiovascular disease. The so-called Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016 protects children, older adults and people with asthma, the administration says.
“These science-based air standards, which undergo rigorous public review and comment, have a proven record of success,” says a White House statement. “They have resulted in cleaner air which has helped all Americans live longer, healthier lives in a growing economy. In fact, since 1970, emissions of key pollutants have decreased by nearly 70 percent while the economy has tripled in size.”
Not surprisingly, manufacturers feel differently. They call the ozone rule “overbearing.”
“By setting the strictest ozone standard in history at a time when states and manufacturers are still trying to meet the existing requirements, the administration added another layer of red tape that will hold back job creation,” says Ross Eisenberg, vice president of energy policy at the National Association of Manufacturers.
“Manufacturers across the United States have shown that environmental progress and economic growth can go hand in hand,” he adds, “but this regulations move us further from that goal.”
Manufacturers want the US Senate to act on this bill to give them relief. If such a bill could get the necessary 60 votes to overcome a filibuster, it would get vetoed — and that would require two-thirds of the Senate to override, or 67 votes.