AUSTIN — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took one of its most dramatic steps to date in its assault on American industry and on affordable, reliable energy by lowering the national standard for fine particulate matter, already among the strictest standards in the world, from 12 μg/m3 to 9 μg/m3. The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Chief National Initiatives Officer Chuck DeVore and Life:Powered Policy Director Brent Bennett issued the following statements opposing the new standard:

“The EPA has ignored near unanimous opposition from American businesses and bipartisan opposition from state leaders to impose what could be the most expensive regulation in its history,” said DeVore. “This standard will impose new restrictions on economic activity across more than three-quarters of U.S. counties and is just the latest example of how the agency is abusing the laws designed to keep our air and water clean for the purpose of stifling economic growth. Just yesterday, a Texas-led coalition secured a legal victory that will require the EPA to undertake additional review of the ozone standards, and Texas will continue to lead liberty-loving states in the fight against the EPA’s overreach.”

“The EPA touts that it is following ‘the science,’ but it continues to brush aside reality in its pursuit of ever-more draconian air quality regulations,” said Bennett. “Particulate levels in the U.S. are already among the lowest in the world, and 60% of the particulates in the U.S. are from natural sources, with only 20% coming from energy consumption and industrial activity. The economic shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic showed that taking half the cars off the road and closing businesses and factories had no measurable effect on pollution levels in U.S. cities. But the EPA continues to insist that our air is not safe and that more regulations will make it safer. As many years of research from our team has shown, its rationale is pure fantasy and not based on real science.”