Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a proposed rule aimed at lowering the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone. This proposal could create the costliest regulation in U.S. history and comes at a moment in time when ozone levels have fallen 33 percent since 1980 and when the current standard of 75 parts per billion (ppb), set in 2008, is only now being fully implemented. With national air quality at its safest levels in decades, and with improved fuel economy and energy efficiency standards reducing emissions from stationary and mobile sources, the new proposal by the EPA would place an unnecessary regulatory burden on domestic companies and damage our international competitiveness in the global jobs race.
Tomorrow, President Obama will be in San Francisco to address the Conference of Mayors – the elected leaders responsible for growing prosperity and setting economic development agendas in cities across our nation. The North Carolina Chamber recently signed this letter, joining the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and a growing list of pro-business organizations to ask the President to retain the existing standard of 75 ppb and promote the critical balance needed for both a clean environment and a healthy economy. This issue is especially important for our state’s business climate as North Carolina’s manufacturers rely on relatively low energy costs as a competitive advantage.
The North Carolina Chamber is part of a national coalition, the Partnership for a Better Energy Future, including stakeholders representing nearly every segment of the U.S. economy, unified in our support for balanced, modernized energy regulations. The Partnership aims to educate and mobilize the broader business community and elected and public officials to address widespread concerns with proposed greenhouse gas rules. We will continue to keep you informed on developments around this vital competitiveness issue.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber