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ANALYSIS: Economic Doomsday Scenarios on Smog-Rules Misleading

18 Aug 2011  |   Emma Brown

Tags: General Environment

Arguments by oil, coal and utility companies that the long-delayed EPA smog-ozone protection rules to be issued shortly will result in negative economic impacts are “exaggerated” and—based on past precedent—misleading, an analysis by the Center for American Progress (CAP) revealed Thursday.

The analysis reviewed similar concerns made by industry groups when new ozone standards were set in 1997 and evaluated economic growth and employment rates of areas placed in “non-attainment” (in violation) of the standards following their implementation. The analysis found that, contrary to industry groups’ doomsday predictions in 1997, areas placed in non-attainment experienced similar economic growth and employment rates to the nation as a whole. Economic growth and employment rates are unlikely to be affected by updated smog-ozone rules, the analysis concludes.

"Industries' predictions of economic Armageddon following the adoption of the 1997 ozone standard did not occur,” said Daniel J. Weiss, a CAP Senior Fellow and coauthor of the analysis. “In fact, economic growth and unemployment in the metropolitan areas newly out of compliance generally followed the national economy. This means that Big Oil and other polluters' similar, current attacks on the pending ozone standard also lack credibility.”

View the full analysis.

The graphics (from the  CAP Analysis) below illustrate the how closely the economic status of the nonattainment areas mimic the national status.

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