300 Natural Resources & Environment:Eliminate Funding for Development and Implementation of New Ozone Standards

Savings in Millions of Dollars
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021
  • 2022
  • 2023
  • 2024
  • 2025
  • 2016-2020
  • 2016-2025


This recommendation reduces the size of government, but no specific savings are assumed from prohibiting these regulations from taking effect.


Technical Notes on Scoring

CBO Baseline

Unless otherwise noted, calculations for savings for each recommendation relies on the most recent Congressional Budget Office baseline, as found in “An Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2024,” published August 27, 2014, has been used.

Savings “Totals”

While totals for the five and 10 year savings are provided by section and for the complete set of recommendations, there are two reasons they should not be viewed as representing total savings for The Budget Book.

First, as noted in the introduction, The Heritage Foundation would recommend that the savings realized in the Function 050 Defense section would stay within the Department of Defense to strengthen the nation’s defense capabilities.

Second, the numbers cannot be deemed to represent the realized savings if every single recommendation were adopted because policy changes made in one program can impact spending levels in other programs.  Thus, the numbers in the table do not reflect any potential interactions between the various policy changes affecting spending or savings.


Heritage Recommendation:

Prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from using any appropriated funds to implement new ozone standards. This recommendation is in the form of a rider prohibiting any use of funds for this purpose, but does not presume lower spending by the EPA beyond other savings proposed elsewhere.


Block the EPA from going forward with more stringent ozone standards. Ozone has gone down 33 percent

Making the standard any more stringent than the current 75 parts per billion (ppb) would impose significant and unnecessary costs on business and taxpayers, in return for marginal environmental benefits. However, the EPA has proposed regulations for a revised standard between 70 ppb and 65 ppb, with the possibility of going as low as 60 ppb.

Concentration levels of ozone have already decreased by 33 percent from 1980 to 2013, and the average number of high ozone days per monitor in a year has decreased by 75 percent as recently as 2012. Furthermore, changing the ozone standard is premature, as the existing standards adopted in 2008 are only just beginning to be implemented. A tighter standard may even be impossible to meet because background levels in some areas of the country have been found to regularly exceed 60 ppb.

The costs of such a stringent and unwarranted standard could be devastating. A study by NERA Economic Consulting estimates $2.2 trillion in compliance costs from 2017 through 2040 for a 60 ppb standard. Based on EPA data for the three-year period from 2010 to 2012, over 60 percent of those counties would be in violation of a 70 ppb standard; 81 percent for a 65 ppb standard; 93 percent for a 60 ppb standard.

Block the EPA from going forward with more stringent ozone standards. Ozone has gone down 33 percent

Contributing Expert

Daren Bakst studies and writes about agriculture subsidies, property rights, environmental policy, food labeling and related issues as The Heritage Foundation’s research fellow in agricultural policy.

See publications by Daren Bakst

Daren BakstResearch Fellow in Agricultural Policy

Heritage Experts

Nicolas (Nick) Loris, an economist, focuses on energy, environmental and regulatory issues as the Herbert and Joyce Morgan fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

See publications by Nicolas Loris

Nicolas (Nick) LorisHerbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow

Katie Tubb is a Research Associate and Coordinator in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies

See publications by Katie Tubb

Katie TubbResearch Associate and Coordinator

Additional Reading