The Nacilbupera Guzzle

Whoever examines with attention the history of the dearths and famines … will find, I believe, that a dearth never has arisen from any combination among the inland dealers in corn, nor from any other cause but a real scarcity, occasioned sometimes perhaps, and in some particular places, by the waste of war, but in by far the greatest number of cases by the fault of the seasons; and that a famine has never arisen from any other cause but the violence of government attempting, by improper means, to remedy the inconveniences of a dearth. (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations IV.5.44)

Monday, May 16, 2011

New EPA Regulations Proving More Costly

By Guest Journalist Ryan Halston

A new set of EPA regulations could prove again to be costly for American industry leaders. The March act slated to cut toxic air emission by 91 percent could end up causing a major burden for the economy.

The EPA toxic air rule has had shown an estimated $11 billion cost to industry, as well as hurt around 3 percent of American coal generation. The power industry is starting to feel a bit of unease with regards to the regulations, as testing is taking place on the amount of hit that business leaders could take.

The timeline of the recent regulations has also been called into question. The chairman of American Electric Power has openly criticized the timeline of the regulation as a “train wreck” primarily because the swiftness would hurt the economy. An estimated difference of $5 billion in economic hit could ensue as a result of a swift timeline, as opposed to something that’s more drawn out. Without a change in the actual law, there would be no legal way to affect the timeline as well. Power industry leaders are in favor of a 2020 deadline, while the regulations currently call for an end time of 2015.

The toxic air regulations are just another in what seems to be a long line of initiatives from the EPA in 2010 and 2011 that are rubbing many the wrong way. A common complaint involving the EPA’s work in the past year has been the view that the agency is becoming a power hungry organization. With the levy of constant costly regulations and lack of responses from the EPA, this connotation could be proving true.

The EPA has somewhat gone off track from some of its major goals in recent years. The constant barrage from the GOP has possibly forced the agency into constantly defending greenhouse gas emission regulations, possibly taking some their own focus away from other areas. When you look at it, the EPA just seems to be a bit off course. They have taken some of their resources away from programs like the fight on water contamination and work against asbestos exposure in exchange for more time devoted defending and levying regulations that work to cost companies major money.

Perhaps the most unfortunate thing about this battle is that the EPA may end up causing major hits to itself in the end. If the agency continues to defend costly regulations that have little to no effect on health, business leaders and GOP officials will most likely continue doing what is necessary to right the ship. This could include further EPA budget cuts and more legislation firing back at the environmental agency.

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