The Biden administration and radical environmentalists will do anything they can to enforce their climate change agenda on the American people. And now, they are using ozone control measures to do just that right here in the state of Arizona.
On September 16, 2022, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reclassified Maricopa County as a moderate nonattainment area of ozone limits under the Clean Air Act. This basically means that, according to the EPA, Maricopa County’s ozone levels are too high and therefore our state—including its individual citizens, motorists, and businesses—will be forced to adopt ozone control measures.
So, what exactly caused Arizona’s rise in ozone levels? Was it more cars on the road? A dramatic increase in air travel to our state? Too many cows releasing methane into the air?
No. The main contributor was the adoption of the 2015 EPA guidelines, which dropped acceptable ozone levels from 75ppb to 70ppb. That’s right. Government bureaucrats simply moved the goal posts. On top of that, multiple studies have shown that any higher ozone levels in Maricopa County are simply being caused by natural events, which means that the issue is very much out of the control of our citizens. In fact, just look at the numbers from 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ozone levels increased from 79ppb to 87ppb even though business activity was halted, and we saw a dramatic decrease in cars on our roads.
But that hasn’t stopped the EPA. It still wants to use this issue and our noncompliance (which it manufactured), to impose a slew of restrictions and mandates on Maricopa County residents and businesses. Along with fines and penalties—like the withholding of Arizona’s share of federal transportation dollars—it is considering additional control measures. Among them are:
- More regulations on business
- Expanding transit (which has seen a steady decline in ridership in Maricopa County)
- Adopting vision-zero zoning programs (which spend millions of dollars until a city achieves zero traffic-related fatalities)
- Removing internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles from the roadways
- Vehicle trip reduction requirements
Those last two should stand out to you. The EPA wants Arizona to follow in the footsteps of California, where its regulatory board, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), officially adopted a plan to ban the internal combustion engine. The rationale behind this was that banning ICE cars was needed to ensure ozone compliance. But even the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) admits that removing all 4 million ICE vehicles in the metropolitan Phoenix area would not bring Maricopa County into compliance with the EPA’s ozone requirements.
Then, there’s the push for vehicle trip reduction requirements. In other words, the government is looking to limit your ability to drive—or tax the hell out of you for the miles you do drive. And once again, this would mimic what’s going on in California, where government bureaucrats are looking to advance a vehicle mileage tax in San Diego.
Of course, none of this will bring Arizona into compliance. But perhaps even scarier is that if any of these new measures are adopted, they cannot be rolled back. The Clean Air Act prohibits any “backsliding.”
That’s why we must work to stop the EPA from forcing us to adopt these radical regulations and restrictions. So far, our state legislature has gotten started by issuing HCM2008, which urges the Biden administration and Congress to stop the EPA from imposing these penalties on our state. But we can’t stop there. These measures are coercive, punitive, and likely illegal. And that’s why we intend to fight it through any legal means necessary.
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