Louisiana Field Briefing to Analyze Impacts of EPA’s Upcoming Ozone Rule on Project Development

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Washington, D.C. –U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, will host the final of three field briefings in Louisiana that examine potential impacts of upcoming and proposed regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Friday’s briefing in Lake Charles, La., will focus on how EPA’s upcoming ozone rule will affect jobs and economic development in Louisiana, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants. Vitter will be joined by U.S. Reps. Charles Boustany (R-La.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.).

“EPA’s decision-making process seemingly ignores the economic disaster that would ensue should the ozone standard be lowered. Most of Louisiana would be in violation, shutting down the main economic drivers of our state and grinding our local manufacturing renaissance to a halt,” said Sen. Vitter. “We need to hold Obama’s EPA accountable for the bureaucratic and economic nightmare they’re trying to force on Louisianians and the nation.”

“Louisiana energy production is the engine driving our state’s economic success. We can’t allow irresponsible environmentalist policies to get in the way of Louisiana job creation,” said Rep. Boustany. “I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with my colleagues to protect these jobs. We will continue working together to ensure overzealous Washington bureaucrats do no further harm to this important industry.”

“The Obama Administration's proposed regulations have the potential to harm Louisiana’s economy and destroy jobs,” said Rep. Cassidy. “Lake Charles is an example of the thousands of good paying jobs that can be created by growing our energy industries. Our priority should be rolling out the red carpet for these jobs, not the red tape.”

Friday’s field briefing will feature a panel to discuss the predicted impacts of EPA’s upcoming rule to lower ozone standards on job loss, opportunity loss, and infrastructure challenges. In the next fiscal year, the Lake Charles metropolitan area is expected to produce nearly 8,000 new jobs due to announced industrial expansions, construction labor demands, and the opening of new facilities. However, should EPA lower the current ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) to 60 parts per billion (ppb), the majority of Louisiana, including Lake Charles, would be placed into non-attainment, threatening the largest industries and job creators in the State.