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New EPA Regulations Will Harm State and National Economy

Recent rule making from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that was finalized this month has sent ripples of concern throughout the business community both in Texas and nationwide, and for good reason. The EPA’s decision to lower the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM2.5) – otherwise known as soot – will have a wide-ranging impact on manufacturers and other major industries, representing the latest heavy-handed federal environmental regulation that threatens to inflict serious harm to the economy.


The economic ramifications of lowering the PM2.5 standard are profound. Billions in economic activity and nearly a million jobs could be at risk, both directly in manufacturing and indirectly through supply chain spending. For a state like Texas, which is a premier destination for business expansion and relocation, such consequences would be devastating. By hastily adopting stringent standards without considering the broader economic implications, we risk ceding our competitive edge on the global stage.


If our policymakers took the time to balance environmental goals with economic realities, we could achieve meaningful progress without sacrificing our nation’s prosperity. Regulators unfortunately fail to take into account their own data demonstrating that significant progress has already been made in this sector. In fact, since 2000, PM2.5 concentrations have declined by 42%, proving our air is cleaner than ever before.


As the EPA’s PM2.5 standards approach ‘background’ levels and forego longer, more reasonable implementation runways, compliance becomes increasingly challenging for all types of businesses. Moreover, critical minerals necessary for manufacturing could become scarcer, driving up costs and disrupting domestic supply chains. This, in turn, would further hamper economic growth and job creation, creating a vicious cycle of economic decline.


In light of these concerns, it is imperative for the EPA to reevaluate its stance on the updated NAAQS for PM2.5. The United States already has some of the strongest environmental standards in the world, and the potential harm to our economy from this latest overextension of the federal government would far outweigh any actual environmental benefits.


The EPA should instead maintain the existing standards while continuing to support innovation, advancing a balanced approach that supports job creation while ensuring continued economic growth in communities across Texas and the nation.




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