Ozone rule to unleash ‘EPA Police,’ group says

A new video advertisement is warning that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new ozone rule could trigger ridiculous laws limiting everyday activity.

The humorous ad from the energy-industry-backed Environmental Policy Alliance features an officer of the “EPA Police” dramatically enforcing the laws that it says could result.

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“President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is considering new regulations on ozone that could trigger some new, crazy laws, such as bans on lawn-mowing during certain times of the day, new parking space taxes and new fees based on how many miles you drive your car,” the voiceover says as the officer enforces the laws.

The ad is referring to the EPA’s proposal last year to further restrict ground-level ozone pollution, which is linked to respiratory illnesses.

The EPA wants to lower the current 75 parts per billion limit to between 65 and 70 parts per billion, which would spur state and local governments to take action to reduce the fossil fuel pollutants that cause ozone — including, the Environmental Policy Alliance says, limits on lawn-mowing and taxes on parking and driving.

The new ad encourages viewers to contact lawmakers to oppose the ozone rule.

“The EPA's ozone regulation isn't about controlling harmful emissions; it's about controlling Americans' daily lives,” Anastasia Swearingen, senior research analyst for the conservative group, said in a statement.

“These new ozone limits are so restrictive that a majority of U.S. localities won’t be able to meet the EPA’s unrealistic standards,” she said. “That means local governments are going to have to come up with plans for the EPA to dramatically cut their ozone levels.”

The EPA estimates that the health benefits from reduced concentrations of ozone and related pollutants would total up to $38 billion, with costs of up to $16.6 billion.