EPA has historically been quite careful about gradually phasing in environmental rules to minimize economic disruption. (…)
According to this [OMB] analysis, EPA issued 30 major regulations from 1999 to 2009 at an estimated cost of $25.8 billion to $29.2 billion against estimated benefits ranging from $81.9 billion to $533 billion. As a society we have really not taken leave of our senses. When we make policies, the benefits generally outweigh the costs. Of course, for any given corporation or particular factory in any given financial quarter, the costs may be far higher than the benefits. And the costs might be borne by one group while the benefits may be felt by another. Still the idea that environmental rules kill jobs and destroy our quality of life is deceptive propaganda. It is part of a subtle and symbolic political campaign with the goal of delegitimizing government’s role in protecting the environment.
The rest of the article is well worth reading as well, in which Cohen fulminates against the “fact free climate policy debate” and the inconsistent position of the antiregulatory zeal that’s been getting more political momentum:
We seem willing to ensure [via government regulation] that the food we eat and the toys we give our children are free of poison, but seem reluctant to keep our land, air and water free of toxics.
(Hat tip Paul Luttikhuis)