How overly stringent air quality rules put 1,300 Arizona jobs at risk

Particulate concentrations have plummeted since 2000, yet overly budensome air quality rules could bring Arizona’s economy to its knees.

The sun sets over Phoenix on the winter solstice, on a hazy evening, Dec. 21, 2020.The latest Arizona economic outlook report from the University of Arizona is highly encouraging. Our state continues to post strong job numbers.However, the same report shows we are bearing the brunt of crippling inflation, and it seems regulators in Washington, D.C., are bent on making these problems even worse.The Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed a rule that would significantly tighten the limits for small particulates (PM 2.5) commonly found in construction projects, manufacturing processes and electricity generation.Despite concentrations of PM 2.5 plummeting since 2000, the Biden administration is barreling ahead with regulations that threaten 1,300 jobs and $500 million in manufacturing activity in Arizona alone, according to a recent study from the National Association of Manufacturers.Ratcheting up PM 2.5 regulations will create a maze of permitting requirements that will make constructing new and expanded industrial facilities a herculean task.Pro-business policies and a thoughtful regulatory approach have made our state a top destination. Burdensome air regulations are likely to stoke inflationary pressures at a time when we can least afford it.Lea Marquez Peterson, PhoenixThe writer serves on the Arizona Corporation Commission.Here’s the problem with ‘dark money’Laurie Roberts did a great job covering the recent judge’s decision against groups trying to thwart the Voters Right to Know Act. The act attempts to shed some light on the “dark money” that dominates our politics.Remember back when Mitt Romney said that “corporations are people”?It was somewhat of a nod to the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case, where the court found that corporations, nonprofits and unions could donate as much as they wanted to efforts for or against a candidate or issue (although not directly to a candidate).I don’t remember anonymity being part of that decision. It did, however, help create dark money, as donors could secretly donate to an organization that would hide their identities. But does it make sense?What good is granting free speech if we don’t know the identity of the speaker?If you want to have a voice in the public square, you should be willing to do so publicly. Spending money as a form of speech (which is part of what the Citizens United case did) is legal.But shouldn’t the source of that money (i.e. speech) be transparent? How else do we know the intent and motivation behind the speech?Dan Peel, ScottsdaleSenate stops equal rights for womenThis year is the 100th anniversary of the introduction of the Equal Rights Amendment in Congress. The ERA still has not been enacted, despite being ratified by three-fourths of the states.The filibuster in the Senate is the only thing that stands between 168 million American women and their equality with men. If women had equality, they would have the right to bodily autonomy, equal pay and a constitutional guarantee of protection against discrimination.Instead of piecemeal laws protecting women in certain states, the laws would be uniform throughout the nation. Many older arguments against the ERA no longer stand, although it took decades to enact laws that protected women’s rights and to eliminate laws that hurt women.Enshrining the ERA into the Constitution would mean that states could never take away those rights again, a fact that is more important than ever as political wrangling endangers the very lives of women in Republican-led states.Among 193 UN member states, 85% have a constitutional provision for gender equality, but the United States is not one of them. It’s 100 years late, but the passage of the ERA needs to happen now.Toni Denis, PrescottASU faculty reveal their intoleranceThe latest to confirm Phil Boas’ column on ASU protecting its students from ideas comes from the school’s Barrett Honor College.The school’s representatives wrote in an op-ed, “As Barrett faculty members we are committed to free speech on campus … .”Then later in the same op-ed, they add, “Earlier this year, however, the T.W. Lewis Center announced an event featuring two speakers who have long been ‘disrespecting a whole host of people’ in the most fundamental of ways.”I rest my case.Dick Kemp, PhoenixWhat’s on your mind? Send us a letter to the editor online or via email at And consider joining our moderated Voices: Engaging Arizona group on Facebook.This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: EPA air quality rules could put 1,300 Arizona jobs at risk

See the full article on Arizona’s economic indicators, or, read more Arizona real estate investing news. Take your pick!