December 1, 2014
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'The most expensive regulation of all time' moves forward in Washington, D.C.

Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a draft regulation of ground-level ozone, a proposal that the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) calls “the most expensive regulation of all time.”

Lowering the ozone level from the current 75 parts per billion to 65-70 parts per billion could cost up to $17 billion a year for factories and power plants in high-pollution areas, according to the EPA. In July, NAM calculated that a strict version of the rule would eliminate $3.4 trillion in economic output and wipe out 2.9 million jobs by 2040.

The rule is similar to one the Obama administration proposed, then withdrew, in 2011. Republicans, who will enter 2015 with control of both chambers of Congress, pledge to push back against the rules.

The New York Times has more.

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Port slowdown's potential devastating impacts on Washington businesses

By AWB President Kris Johnson and Jon DeVaney, president of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association

The contract dispute between West Coast dockworkers unions and the Pacific Maritime Association has nearly ground Seattle and Tacoma port traffic to a halt at the worst possible time. In our trade-heavy state, businesses are rightly worried this contract standstill could lead to a complete work stoppage.

According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), when a breakdown in contract negotiations resulted in a 10-day lockout in 2002, it cost the U.S. economy an estimated $1 billion a day, and took half a year to clear the backlog. A shutdown now could be even more costly, an estimated $2 billion each day, according to a study conducted by NAM and the National Retail Federation.

Given our dependence on ports for nearly all industries -- imports and exports --  the slowdown could ultimately impact already-stressed state and local budgets.

The timing is devastating for agriculturists and retailers...

READ MORE: Click here for the full op-ed column from Kris Johnson and Jon DeVaney in The Seattle Times
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