Washington, D.C. – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) spoke on the House floor today in favor of H.R. 806, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act.
Full remarks are below or watch online here.
“Mr. Speaker, when you drive up north through and past my district in California, you go through some amazing places–Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon, and then right on over to Yosemite.
“These are beautiful places, American treasures. And you don’t have to go far off the road to feel like you’re remote and completely surrounded by the peacefulness of nature.
“Now, I have had my troubles with the EPA. Regulatory cap-and-trade, the Waters of the U.S. rule, they come to mind. But I do think and believe there is a purpose to ozone standards that clean up our air and make our communities healthier.
“Yet the latest ozone and particulate matter regulations are so severe and divorced from reality that even national parks like Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Yosemite may not be clean enough. And if such pristine nature isn’t clean, nothing can be.
“The problem is that the EPA sets new standards before we’ve reached the old ones, and even before we have the technology to reach the new standards. The only result will be failure.
“Now, California’s central valley faces many disadvantages with air quality: we have prevailing winds from the north sends us pollution from San Francisco and our natural topography, it traps it all in. But we have made amazing progress.
“Good days when ozone isn’t a problem are up nearly 144 percent since 2002. Now, unhealthy ones are down over 75 percent in that same period. You see similar trends for particulate matter as well.
“But no matter how much better we make our air, we cannot catch up to reach the latest unrealistic EPA hurdles–the head of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District said to do so, we’d have to stop all fossil fuel combustion in the central valley.
“If we don’t do that, don’t stop all industry, stop building, stop businesses, and even stop driving our cars, you know what will happen? We’ll be punished and we’ll be fined for where we live. Now, something obviously has to change because these regulations are not rooted in reality.
“In this legislation, Mr. Speaker, Congressman Pete Olson’s Ozone Standards Implementation Act, we don’t get rid of ozone or particulate matter standards. We don’t even oppose raising our standards when we use our technology and abilities to improve.
“What we do is make sure that the standards are set with a specific level for a set time so that the EPA can’t come back and change the goal posts every few years. What we do is make sure the EPA actually determines whether something is technologically possible when setting new attainment deadlines. What we do is make sure we aren’t penalized for all the things affecting our air that we can’t control.
“And we made sure that this legislation accomplished these goals without rolling back the protections for our communities or without backsliding on meeting current EPA standards in the Central Valley.
“In the end, we must have clean air. But we have to be smart about this and set achievable and fixed goals our communities can meet. Building on our success, the people of our district and across America can continue to have cleaner air tomorrow than we do today.
I yield back.”