The National Mining Association (NMA) confirmed it has joined more than 70 trade groups from diverse businesses in a push to urge the Biden administration to maintain the existing National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter (PM2.5).
The groups inked a letter to White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients, in which it has warned that moving ahead with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed revisions would jeopardize American jobs and risk substantial economic harm.
The proposed revisions to the standard “would risk jobs and livelihoods by making it even more difficult to obtain permits for new factories, facilities and infrastructure to power economic growth,” the groups wrote.
“This proposal would also threaten successful implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the important clean energy provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act. Our members have innovated and worked with regulators to significantly lower PM2.5 emissions and further progress is being made as part of the energy transition investments.”
The NMA said that it emphasized in the communication that the effectiveness of the current standards have led to a 42% decline in PM2.5 concentrations since 2000 per government data. In fact, officials said, the EPA reaffirmed only two years ago that the current standards are protective of public health and the environment.
“Now, without significant new health information, the agency is proposing revisions that will have dramatic effects on the U.S. economy,” the NMA stressed.
Moreover, a recent Oxford Economic analysis commissioned by the National Association of Manufacturers found that the proposed standard would reduce U.S. GDP by nearly $200 billion and cost as many as one million American jobs through 2031.
“Lowering the current standard so dramatically would create a perverse disincentive for American investment,” the letter outlined. “EPA’s proposal could force investment in new facilities to foreign countries with less stringent air standards, thereby undermining the Administration’s economic and environmental goals. We urge you to ensure EPA maintains the existing fine particulate matter standards to ensure both continued environmental protection and economic growth.”
The letter is available in its entirety at the NMA’s website.