Republicans Don’t Seem To Understand EPA’s Purpose

Posted by | August 22, 2011 21:17 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

The Environmental Protection Agency has become a favorite punching bag of Republican presidential candidates, especially Rep. Michele Bachmann.

…the leading Republican candidates are all linking environmental regulation to jobs and the economy, suggesting that the nation cannot afford measures that impose greater costs on businesses and consumers. Mrs. Bachmann drew loud applause 10 days ago at a rally in Iowa when she declared: “I guarantee you the E.P.A. will have doors locked and lights turned off, and they will only be about conservation. It will be a new day and a new sheriff in Washington, D.C.”

In an earlier debate she said the agency should be renamed the “job-killing organization of America.” She has called global-warming science a hoax.

Let’s ignore for a moment that the evidence of the effect of EPA regulations on jobs is mixed (I don’t buy it being as optimistic as the linked report, but it is certainly not as bad as Bachmann et. al. assert).  The whole point of the EPA is to improve public health.  And virtually everyone who has studied the issue recognizes that EPA regulations have prolonged many lives.  So the next time a Republican candidate talks about job-killing environmental regulations, they should make clear that they are in favor of saving jobs while killing people.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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