by Henry I. Miller and Jeff StierNational Review Online November 23, 2016
For decades, in administrations Democratic and Republican alike, the Environmental Protection Agency has been a paragon of waste, fraud, and abuse, a corrupt taxpayer-funded Evil Empire. "Science" there is just a tool to be manipulated in order to advance radical anti-technology and anti-industry agendas, even if it means distorting the intent of statutes and affronting common sense.
The EPA is the prototype of agencies that, driven largely by politics, spend more and more to address smaller and smaller risks. In one analysis by the Office of Management and Budget, of the 30 least cost-effective regulations throughout the government, the EPA had imposed no fewer than 17. For example, the agency's restrictions on the disposal of land that contains certain wastes prevent 0.59 cancer cases per year — about three cases every five years — and avoid $20 million in property damage, at an annual cost of $194 to $219 million.
In his excellent book Breaking the Vicious Circle, written shortly before he was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, Stephen Breyer cited another, similar example of expensive, non-cost-effective regulation by the EPA: a ban on asbestos pipe, shingles, coating, and paper, which the most optimistic estimates suggested would prevent seven or eight premature deaths over 13 years — at a cost of approximately a quarter of a billion dollars. Breyer, appointed to the court by President Bill Clinton, observed that such a vast expenditure would cause more deaths than it would prevent from the asbestos exposure, simply by reducing the resources available for other public amenities......To Read More...