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Will New Clean-Air Laws Kill the Economy? We’re About to Find Out

Smog over Los Angeles
Smog over Los AngelesPhotograph by Rob Atkins

This week the American Petroleum Institute issued a dire warning: If the Obama administration insists on tightening rules to further reduce smog by limiting ozone emissions, economic activity across the country will grind to a halt, killing jobs, shutting down businesses, and choking out the recovery. “They’ll be the costliest regulations ever,” Howard Feldman, the API’s director of regulatory and scientific affairs, said during a conference call on Tuesday.

The API released a map showing what parts of the country are most at risk of economic annihilation: basically all of them, or at least the areas where 94 percent of the population lives.