The EPA regulates reality most expensively. Roger Meiners, @perctweets



(Photo: Denver EPA office at risk as Trump looks to pare down agency)

Twitter: @batchelorshow

The EPA regulates reality most expensively. Roger Meiners, @perctweets

Agencies are required to conduct cost-benefit analysis for regulations estimated to cost more than $100 million. Thankfully, there are hundreds such rules underway, and they forecast tremendous growth for our sluggish economy.

Consider one such regulation, the Utility Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS), which applies to coal-fired power plants. Finalized by the EPA in 2011, the regulation is estimated to cost the economy about $10 billion per year. But the EPA claims the annual benefits from the rule will be between $37 billion to $90 billion. In other words, its benefits will be four to nine times higher than its costs.

The EPA doesn’t claim such benefits are theoretical. The agency says they are “monetized,” meaning they will show up in higher gross domestic product. And since GDP is about $16 trillion, this one rule should add as much as half a percent of growth to the economy—hardly a trivial amount.

Regulations have costs as well, a fact the EPA acknowledges. Implementing the MATS rule will result in the loss of 23,000 megawatts of electricity production and 200,000 jobs by 2015. It’s just one of seven major rules that will eliminate between 544,000 and 887,000 jobs and cause a 1.5 percent reduction in the nation’s electric generation capacity.

Jun 14, 01:24 AM
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