OREANDA-NEWS. June 23, 2016.  API Senior Director of Federal Relations Khary Cauthen said commonsense measures should be undertaken to ease the burden of the administration’s ozone standards. Cauthen said today’s House hearing on the issue is further proof that lawmakers need to take action on ozone.

“Legislation is needed to ease the burden on states, local agencies, and businesses throughout the nation of implementing multiple ozone standards, which are set close to peak background levels,” said Cauthen. “The new standards could cost states and consumers billions, harm job growth, and stifle new investment.”

Ground level ozone in the U.S. declined by 18 percent between 2000 and 2013, according to EPA data. Additionally, the United States is leading the world in reducing carbon emissions while producing record levels of energy.

“States are already making significant progress under current ozone standards,” Cauthen added. “It doesn’t make sense to pile on new standards when the existing standards are working.”

The costs could impact 958 counties across the nation, according to an API analysis of EPA data, up from just 217 counties under the previous ozone standards.

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 650 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 30 million Americans.