Washington Post: Seeing economic sense on environmental rules

March 2, 2011 by

My latest letter in the Washington Post:

Two news stories on the same page Feb. 24 [“Global warming can be halved, study finds”; “EPA eases pollution rules for industrial boilers, incinerators”] reflect an economic and cost-effective approach that industry and some in academe have long urged but that regulatory bodies consistently seemed to spurn.

The first story reported on a study by the U.N. Environmental Programme showing that a focus on curbing two short-term pollutants, black carbon and ground-level ozone, could halve the projected rise in global temperatures over a 20-year period. The second article showed how revised EPA rules could cut in half the cost of controlling pollution at more than 200,000 industrial boilers, heaters and incinerators nationwide.

Just think what might have happened if the U.N. agency or the EPA had listened to critics of their proposed policies. It’s probable that neither the U.N. study nor the EPA decision comes close to optimizing the results, but if agencies began to pay attention and to work with critics rather then seeing them as “enemies” or “deniers,” we would all be better off.

To read the rest of the letter, please see here.

Seeing economic sense on environmental rules

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011; 8:18 PM

Two news stories on the same page Feb. 24 [“Global warming can be halved, study finds”; “EPA eases pollution rules for industrial boilers, incinerators”] reflect an economic and cost-effective approach that industry and some in academe have long urged but that regulatory bodies consistently seemed to spurn.

The first story reported on a study by the U.N. Environmental Programme showing that a focus on curbing two short-term pollutants, black carbon and ground-level ozone, could halve the projected rise in global temperatures over a 20-year period. The second article showed how revised EPA rules could cut in half the cost of controlling pollution at more than 200,000 industrial boilers, heaters and incinerators nationwide.

Just think what might have happened if the U.N. agency or the EPA had listened to critics of their proposed policies. It’s probable that neither the U.N. study nor the EPA decision comes close to optimizing the results, but if agencies began to pay attention and to work with critics rather then seeing them as “enemies” or “deniers,” we would all be better off.

If, as the second story suggested, the EPA’s willingness to undertake its new analysis and head in a more cost-effective direction stemmed from President Obama’s Jan. 8 executive order to review regulations that harm job growth, that’s wonderful. If the process took six weeks, it’s a miracle. Let’s all pray for more.

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John L. Rafuse, Alexandria

The writer worked for Union Oil Co. of California from 1976 to 2003.

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One Response to Washington Post: Seeing economic sense on environmental rules

  1. Isaiah Landau says:

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