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Dems mum on Biden's new air quality regulation that threatens industry in their states

A group of Democratic senators and governors did not clarify whether they support or oppose the latest air quality regulation from the Biden administration despite the potential negative impacts of the policy on their states.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finished her update to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for PM2.5 particles, imposing strict restrictions despite notices from industry executives, energy policy experts and elected Republicans that tightening the NAAQS could seriously harm the US economy. Some states will have a harder time fully complying with the stricter standards than others, but many elected Democrats in those states did not respond to multiple requests for comment on whether or not they approve of the new EPA regulation.

California will likely have a harder time fully complying with the rule, according to EPA projections. A spokesman for California's Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, referred the DCNF to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) when asked if Newsom himself supported the policy.

The office of California Democratic Sen. Laphonza Butler did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Alex Padilla, California's other Democratic senator, did not respond to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation, but he told E&E News that the new NAAQS threshold “isn't quite at the level we were hoping for, but I think it's a big step in the grand scheme of things,” implying that the EPA should have gone further.

The agency's new rule lowers the annual PM2.5 standard from 12 micrograms per cubic meter to nine micrograms per cubic matter, or by 25%. The EPA says the revised rules will prevent up to 4,500 premature deaths and 290,000 lost work days and produce up to $46 billion in net health benefits by 2032. However, the National Association of Manufacturers, which strongly opposes updating the NAAQS, he says that regulation could threaten nearly $200 billion in economic activity and up to 973,000 jobs.

However, a tighter PM2.5 NAAQS could “dramatically create a perverse disincentive for American investment” because “even in areas that would meet EPA's proposed standards, levels of current levels of PM2.5 are so close to the proposed standards that there would be no room left for new economic development” seconds to an October 2023 letter to White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients signed by more than 70 industry executives and trade group representatives. The states most likely to be adversely affected by a finalized PM 2.5 NAAQS update would be Texas, California, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, Arizona, and Illinois, among others, according to the text of the letter.

The offices of Georgia Democratic Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock did not immediately respond to inquiries about their position on the regulation. Similarly, Democratic Senators John Fetterman and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania did not commit to multiple inquiries, nor did Pennsylvania Democratic Governor Josh Shapiro.

The offices of Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, an independent who often meets with Democrats, did not return multiple requests to clarify their views on the new NAAQS. Neither did the office of Arizona's Democratic governor, Katie Hobbs.

Representatives for Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, Democrat, did not respond to multiple inquiries about his position on the regulation, and the office of Sen. Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana, who is running for re-election later this year in a draw race, he also failed to respond to several similar queries.

In particular, the EPA data shows that the seasonally adjusted national average concentration of PM 2.5 decreased by 42% between 2000 and 2022, a period during which US GDP increased by more than 50%.

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