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Daren Bakst studies and writes about agriculture subsidies, property rights, environmental policy, food labeling and related issues as The Heritage Foundation’s senior research fellow in agricultural policy. Read his research.
For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has been issuing some of the costliest regulations in U.S. history, especially when it comes to its air-pollution regulations.
EPA - Regulations - Benefits - Objectives - Rules
The EPA has moved forward with these regulations, even when there have been little to no benefits to achieving the stated objectives of the rules. If this meant there was more harm than good, that was fine to the EPA.
The Trump administration’s EPA is trying to end this abuse.
Weeks - EPA - Rule - Mercury - Air
A few weeks ago, the EPA released a proposed rule addressing the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rrule for power plants, the so-called “MATS rule.”
When the Obama EPA finalized the MATS rule in 2012, it didn’t bother to consider costs when deciding whether to regulate mercury and other hazardous air-pollutant emissions from power plants.
Supreme - Court - Case - Michigan - EPA
That led to a Supreme Court case, Michigan v. EPA, challenging the agency’s failure to properly consider whether the rule was “appropriate and necessary,” as required under the relevant section of the Clean Air Act (Section 112).
In 2015, the court held that the EPA, because of that “appropriate and necessary” language, must consider costs.
Obama - Administration - Costs - Finding - MATS
In 2016, the Obama administration “considered” costs and published a supplemental finding concluding that the MATS rule was “appropriate and necessary.” That was despite the fact that the benefits of reducing mercury emissions as determined by the Obama administration were $4 million to $6 million annually, and the costs of reducing such emissions was $7.4 billion to $9.6 billion annually.
The costs were as much as 2,400 times greater than the benefits.
Obama - EPA - MATS - Rule - Costs
When the Obama EPA finalized the MATS rule in 2012, it didn’t bother to consider costs when deciding whether to regulate mercury and...
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