What They Are Saying: Western Caucus Members Denounce NAAQS Rule for Fine Particulate Matter

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Western Caucus Members representing rural America released statements in response to the Biden Administration’s decision to tighten National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter reducing the current 12 μg/m3 to 9 μg/m3.

“I am deeply concerned to see the Biden EPA's new rigorous National Ambient Air Quality Standards,” said Rep. Mike Simpson (ID-02), Chairman of the Interior-EPA Subcommittee on Appropriations. “If implemented, this rule would have severe consequences for nearly every industry. As Chairman of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, I was proud to author a bill that blocked this harmful regulation. I will continue to push back against this misguided decision.”

“This ruling is a part of a long, continuous pattern of the Biden Administration’s attempts to destroy America’s industries and economy,” said Executive Vice Chair Doug LaMalfa (CA-01). “The damage from this decision will have a ripple effect through Rural America. Our farms, foresters, and manufacturers will all be hit.”

“In finalizing the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for fine particulate matter, EPA bureaucrats have completely disregarded the feedback my Arizona colleagues and I provided about the destructive impacts its new policy would inflict upon our state,” said Vice Chair Debbie Lesko (AZ-08). “This oppressive one-size-fits-all regulation will certainly punish states like Arizona by crippling any new development, and potentially compromising hundreds of thousands of jobs and tens of billions of dollars across the nation. I will support any legal recourse to ensure that our constituents remain unharmed by its implementation.”

“The Biden Administration continues its regulatory assault on our nation, the latest target being the literal dust in the air,” said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson (PA-15). “The new NAAQS rule is not only impractical but will drive American jobs overseas and further erode our already weak economy. For an administration that so often claims to be helping the economy, they are doing a great job of grinding it to a halt, and our nation’s foresters are paying the price. Time and time again, Bidenomics is failing the American people.”

“The Clean Air Act requires a review every 5 years of PM2.5 standards that are focused on inhalable particulate matter. These standards were reviewed, and a conclusion reached only 6 months ago,” said Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC-03). “Now, Joe Biden has chosen to introduce new PM2.5 standards that place $87.4 billion in economic activity each year and 300,000+ jobs at risk in a hasty, haphazard decision. Most PM2.5 emissions come from non-point sources, such as wildfires resulting from poor forest management. These new, stricter standards punish industry and fail address to address the root cause of bad air quality. Again, Joe Biden sells out American jobs and our economy to meet the election year demands of radical environmental activists.”

“The EPA’s new PM2.5 standards are yet another massive overreach by the Biden Administration that helps foreign competitors like Communist China and hurts states like Georgia,” said Rep. Austin Scott (GA-08). “This misguided decision will place many states in permitting gridlock, increase regulatory burdens on American businesses, and harm American jobs.”

"The Biden administration continues to kill American jobs in the name of climate change. Updating the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) prematurely and without cause is a slap in the face to hard working Americans,” said Rep. Carol Miller (WV-01). “I have previously invited EPA officials to visit West Virginia and drive on our roads and talk to the people who would be pushed to the brink of bankruptcy if this flawed policy were put into effect. By finalizing this rule, the Biden Administration has once again chosen to place burdens on America’s rural industries to appease climate radicals.”

“We all support clean air and a robust economy, and we need policies that enable us to innovate and make progress in both areas,” said Rep. John Curtis (UT-03). “The EPA must also better consider factors outside of state controls, like wildfires and inversions. This new rule doesn't achieve that, and I stand ready to work with the state of Utah to ensure we have a robust and clean economy.”

“United States manufactured goods are 80% more carbon efficient than the average of their competitors on the world stage,” said Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-01). “Instead of building on that success, the Biden Administration and the EPA has decided to implement new air quality standards for fine particulate matter, making it virtually impossible to expand manufacturing and our industrial capacity in Iowa and the United States. This is just another example of how this Administration has taken the United States from leading in a category to being outshined by our adversaries across the globe.”

“Today’s action by the EPA is irresponsible and will be detrimental to our nation’s economy. In 2020, the EPA reviewed the standards and left them at the same level as the Obama-Biden Administration, determining them to be sufficient. The U.S. has some of the lowest fine particulate matter levels in the world, even lower than other developed nations such as France, Germany and Great Britain,” said Rep. Dan Crenshaw (TX-02). “What Biden’s radical EPA did with this final rule is tighten the standard of allow particulate matter by 25%, which is going to make it hard to build infrastructure like road and bridges, and manufacturing.”

“The EPA’s proposed power plant rule, with its unrealistic timelines and costly mandates, poses a grave threat to the affordability of power for Hoosiers and all Americans,” said Rep. Larry Bucshon (IN-08). “This flawed proposal will jeopardize our grid reliability and rapidly raise energy prices for American families. I join my colleagues in calling for its reversal to ensure local authorities throughout the country have the freedom to continue meeting common goals of environmental sustainability while simultaneously powering economic growth.”

"The recent announcement by the EPA to revise the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is a costly and unnecessary regulation, causing adverse effects on manufacturing, forestry, and energy industries across the West," said Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04). "With record inflation ballooning the costs of goods and energy, the EPA's new rule will further harm American workers, businesses, and consumers. I urge the Biden administration to reverse course and offload this burdensome policy to protect industries critical to Utah and the nation's economic security and prosperity."

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