In testimony delivered during a hearing on April 13, the American Petroleum Institute (API) said that it agrees with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it is not necessary to expand the Ozone Transport Region (OTR), and cautions that the change could increase compliance costs and that current regulations are already working. API supports the EPA’s proposed relief to states, tribes, citizens and businesses through denial of the 2013 Clean Air Act Section 176A Petition.
“Significant progress has been made to improve the nation’s air quality through oil and natural gas industry investments and compliance with existing regulations,” said API Senior Policy Advisor Ted Steichen. “Expanding the reach of the rule could potentially burden refineries and other oil and natural gas development with millions of dollars in additional costs without any environmental benefits.”
In a fact sheet released with the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS), EPA stated that its own analyses show that the vast majority of U.S. counties will meet the standards by 2025 with existing federal and state rules. Ground-level ozone in the U.S. declined by 17% between 2000 and 2015, according to EPA data, and the oil and natural gas industry has invested $284 billion since 1990 to continue to improve air quality.