Only a couple weeks after Collegians spoke to the WV state board of education, students from George Mason University took to the nation’s capital to testify at an EPA hearing on its newly proposed ozone standard. The restrictions would set standards below ozone levels naturally occurring in Yellowstone National Park. Such a small reduction of parts per billion to improve human health or environmental quality will go unnoticeable. What will be felt is the devastating effect on the economy.
“It was a fun and worthwhile experience to speak on the issue,” said GMU student Hunter DeRensis. “I encourage students in our movement to become regular attendees and speakers at public hearings. It can only serve to better the cause.”
Accompanying the Collegians on their trip was Dr. Bonner Cohen, senior fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research.
Dr. Cohen had this to say: “If it goes into effect, the administration’s proposed standard will push many metropolitan areas out of compliance with the Clean Air Act. States in non attainment will be required to develop State Implementation Plans (SIPs) which spell out the steps each area will take to meet the new standard. SIPs must them be approved by EPA. Businesses located in non attainment areas typically have to purchase new equipment and acquire new permits. Manufacturers and other businesses that might otherwise open a facility in a non attainment area tend to go elsewhere to avoid the added costs of complying with a SIP.”
Also in attendance was Nikki West from the Institute to Reduce Spending. We talked with Nikki afterwards. “I was impressed with the students,” she said. “I thought they did a great job speaking. I am glad to see young people having their voices heard on issues like this. We are talking roughly $270 billion a year in costs for our already struggling economy.”