Wood industry groups are among those breathing a little easier now that President Obama has shelved the EPA’s recent attempts to overhaul ozone standards. Emissions from wood finishing and other operations are considered ozone contributors, and thus any rule promulgation has an immediate impact on the industry.
In requesting that the EPA halt the draft Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards, President Obama noted that as work is already underway to reevaluate the rules, “Ultimately I did not support asking state and local governments to begin implementing a new standard that will soon be reconsidered.”
Any changes at this time would also have put a big burden on manufacturers, who are already struggling to survive, let alone thrive, against foreign competitors. The U.S. cannot afford to lose any additional foothold in manufacturing, let alone jobs. And while I’m all in favor of the health benefits from reducing smog and VOCs from the air, I have to be realistic. And right now, the pendulum is swinging for job retention and recruitment/creation.
The Republican backed effort against the Ozone Rule was supported also by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Following the Sept. 2 withdrawal of the draft, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Donohue stated, “The U.S. Chamber is glad the White House heeded our warning and withdrew these potentially disastrous — and completely voluntary — actions from the EPA. This is an enormous victory for America’s job creators, the right decision by the President and one that will help reduce the uncertainty facing businesses. It’s also a big first step in what needs to be a broader regulatory reform act.”
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