By Drew Johnson
Enjoy Independence Day while you still can. If President Obama gets his way, this could be the last Fourth of July worth celebrating.
New ground-level ozone standards being pushed by Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency would result in widespread bans on fireworks shows, backyard grilling and other Independence Day traditions.
Because the proposed ozone rule is set so low, things as harmless as a few backyard chefs grilling burgers in the same area at the same time, or even festive fireworks being launched during an Independence Day celebration, could cause an area to violate federal ozone standard thresholds. Such a violation of the EPA’s unreasonably low ozone limit would result in fines and other penalties for local governments from federal regulators.
In an attempt to steer clear of punishment, local lawmakers will have to respond to the new EPA rules by enacting municipal grilling bans and canceling fireworks shows from sea to shining sea.
Outlandish environmental regulations are nothing new for Obama’s EPA, but the proposed ozone limit is likely the most costly and oppressive regulation yet. Besides ending Independence Day as we know it in many places, the lower ozone limit would stall construction projects and prevent job-creating manufacturing facilities from being built in hundreds of cities across the United States.
Recent studies by the National Association of Manufacturers and other groups have shown that the EPA’s new directive would be the most expensive regulation ever enacted, costing the economy $140 billion annually. Even the EPA’s own cost estimates acknowledge the economic hit from the proposed regulation would be well into the tens of billions of dollars a year.
If it is allowed to go into effect, the new ozone standard would increase the price of nearly all goods and service sold in the America, costing families hundreds of dollars a year. Despite the damage to the economy and the expense to Americans, stricter ground-level ozone standards would do almost nothing to improve air quality. (my emphasis)
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