President-elect Donald Trump could eliminate these five Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations some studies have labeled as “job-killers” that do little for the environment.
Under President Barack Obama, the EPA made individual rules and regulations that cost hundreds of thousands of jobs. Given the high costs, Republican lawmakers encouraged states not to implement such rules because they could be overturned by the courts or by a subsequent administration.
The EPA required every county in America last year to cut ozone from 75 to 70 parts per billion by 2025. The agency did this even though a third of all Americans live in one of the 177 counties that haven’t yet met 2008 standards of 75 parts per billion. Simply ignoring EPA ozone standards isn’t an option either, as local governments risk losing federal highway funds, oil and gas operations may be forced to cease and manufacturers can shut down.
Several accomplished scientists have criticized the ozone rule’s benefits, as there’s no recorded case of anyone being killed by ozone. EPA claims the new ozone standards will avoid 710 to 4,300 premature deaths by 2025, but clinical tests cast doubt on this number.
Critics labeled the EPA ozone rules as the costliest regulations ever imposed on the U.S. economy. Previous EPA estimates for the current standard went as high as $25 billion annually. A study commissioned by the National Association of Manufacturers estimates that the EPA’s strictest ozone standards of 65 parts per billion could cause $1.7 trillion in total economic damage and kill 1.4 million jobs by 2040.
The agency does not list the amount of temperature increases averted in the rule’s press release, even though the rule exists just to limit global warming. Industry groups estimate the rule would only cause a temperature drop of 0.0047 degrees Celsius by the year 2100, an amount so small it couldn’t even be detected.
The regulation even has the potential to make global warming worse, as it will make producing natural gas harder, leading to more release of CO2 emissions — the primary driver of global warming — according to a 2014 EPA report. The report concluded that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2012 fell to their lowest levels in 17 years, largely due to hydraulically fractured natural gas out-competing coal as a power source
A report by the firm ICF International, which cited 75 scientific studies and EPA reports, concluded that methane emissions are declining in both absolute terms and per unit of natural gas produced, despite an enormous increase in the amount of gas produced. Absolute methane emissions from natural gas fell by 15 percent between 1990 and 2014, and emissions per unit of natural gas produced dropped by 43 percent over the same period.