JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Petroleum Council and the Missouri Energy Forum participated in the Missouri Association of Counties Legislative Conference today to discuss the impact of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Ozone National Ambient Air Quality (NAAQS) to Missouri and the country.
In November, the Missouri Association of Counties resolution opposing more stringent ozone standards was overwhelmingly adopted, and speakers at today’s conference reinforced the calls for Missouri’s state leaders, including Gov. Jay Nixon, to speak out against what they call “EPA overreach” and protect Missouri counties’ economies.
“If EPA were to impose an ozone standard of 65 parts per billion, the negative impact on Missouri counties would be horrendous,” said Peggy Kenney, Cedar County Clerk. “This standard would place virtually all of Missouri’s counties into a non-attainment category and the economic impact, from the smallest to the largest counties in the state, would be severe.”
A recent study conducted by NERA Economic Consulting for the National Association of Manufacturers estimates that the total negative economic impact of such a stringent standard would total $18 billion from 2017 to 2040, and would result in the loss of over 29,000 jobs annually in Missouri.
“We need to continue to protect public health without jeopardizing jobs and economic growth in Missouri,” said Ryan Rowden, executive director for the Missouri Petroleum Council. “EPA’s own data shows that ozone levels have already fallen 33% since 1980 and 18 percent since 2000. And the current regulations they are looking to replace haven’t even been fully implemented yet. It’s another case of a costly regulations layered on top of other costly regulations.”
The forum featured other speakers, including Roger Martella, co-leader of the environmental practice group at Sidley Austin LLP and former EPA General Council.
Rachael Herndon was the editor at The Missouri Times and also produced This Week in Missouri Politics, published Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosted the #MoLeg podcast. She joined The Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.
Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.