02 Sep '11, 5pm

Over last 10 years, OMB estimates EPA regs have cost $26-29 billion & produced between $82 & $533 billion in benefits.

Over last 10 years, OMB estimates EPA regs have cost $26-29 billion & produced between $82 & $533 billion in benefits.

Economists do not own crystal balls to project technological innovation. In the acid rain (SO2) program (the model for climate change cap-and-trade proposals), scrubbing turned out to be more efficient and more reliable than expected. Pre-regulation, analysts assumed that scrubbers operate at 85 percent reliability and remove 80 to 85 percent of the sulfur. In fact, scrubbers typically run in excess of 95 percent reliability, removing 95 percent. The original estimate of opportunities to blend low and high sulfur coal in older boilers was a 5/95 mixture. In fact, industry was able to achieve a much more efficient 40/60 mixture. Industry often finds creative ways to meet standards at lower compliance costs, that aren't anticipated in the EPA's pre-regulation estimates. For example, about two million tons of SO2 reductions came from railroad deregulation that allowed industr...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/article/2010-11-17-for-epa-regulatio...

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