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EPA’s Air-Quality Revisions Would Harm Economy, Manufacturers

Proposed air-quality regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency would threaten $162.4 billion to $197.4 billion of economic activity and put 852,100 to 973,900 current jobs at risk, according to a new report conducted by Oxford Economics and commissioned by the NAM.

What’s going on: Early this year, the EPA announced draft revisions to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards that would lower the primary annual particulate matter standard from 12.0 µg/m3 to between 8.0 and 10.0 µg/m3—and do significant harm to manufacturers and the U.S. economy, according to the analysis released today.

Specifically, the analysis found that if enacted, the revisions would:  

  • Create a total economic exposure of $87.4 billion for manufacturing economic activity, an amount equal to 2.4% of the U.S. manufacturing sector’s gross value added;
  • Expose 311,600 manufacturing jobs, or 1.9% of all manufacturing employment;
  • Put at risk approximately $138.4 billion of gross value added (in 2021 prices) and place 501,000 jobs in 2027 in areas of nonattainment;
  • Place 200 U.S. counties in nonattainment; and
  • Hit California’s manufacturing sector hardest, followed by Michigan and Illinois.

Why it’s important: Manufacturers have “worked for years to make progress in delivering some of the cleanest manufacturing processes in the world,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “This analysis makes clear these new regulations will weaken our ability to invest in the technology and processes that would continue to reduce emissions—while jeopardizing high-paying manufacturing jobs.”

  • “We need to let manufacturers do what they do best: innovate and deploy modern technologies to protect the environment, while creating jobs and strengthening the economy.”

News coverage: In an exclusive, Fox Business highlighted the analysis, while POLITICO’s Morning Energy newsletter (subscription) noted the importance of the release ahead of EPA Administrator Michael Regan’s testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee today.

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