Government over-regulation strikes again — and North Carolina will suffer. Carolina Journal’s Dan Way reports.

North Carolina could lose 127,360 jobs by 2040, the economy could lose $150 billion in projected growth over that time, and obstacles could prevent the state’s launch of its oil and gas industry if the Environmental Protection Agency goes forward this year with a plan to implement a more restrictive smog control standard.

Those findings are included in a study released Thursday by the National Association of Manufacturers in opposition to a proposed tighter air quality standard.

North Carolina would be forced to close 24 percent of its coal-fired generating capacity to comply with the new ozone-lowering requirement, according to the study. NERA Economic Consulting, a global firm whose expertise includes public utility regulations, energy and environmental policy, conducted the research.

North Carolina’s total compliance costs would soar to $98 billion to meet the ozone standard from 2017-40, and North Carolina households’ buying power would drop $1,820 annually, the report concluded.

Nationwide, from 2017-40, household natural gas prices would rise 32 percent, electricity prices would increase 15 percent, and the economy would lose $3 trillion and 2.9 million job equivalents annually, the study concluded,

The ozone rule “directly threatens” North Carolina’s economic progress, “and deals a major blow to North Carolina jobs and manufacturers,” said Lew Ebert, president and CEO of the North Carolina Chamber.

“As the fifth-largest manufacturing state in the nation, the North Carolina manufacturing community widely recognizes the strong correlation between economic certainty and job creation,” Ebert said.

“By lowering the ozone standard to near unattainable levels, the EPA would create widespread government induced uncertainty that harms manufacturers’ ability to invest and grow,” he said.