On Cross-State Pollution, Migration

From: WSJ/Letter to the Editor

As your editorial “EPA Smack-Down Number Six” (Aug. 22) points out, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s remand of EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) is indeed a setback for the Obama administration. But perhaps the biggest embarrassment is that it undermines the administration’s oft-repeated claims that its smarter regulators have generated much higher benefits than have previous administrations. According to the Office of Management and Budget estimates, CSAPR contributes over 40% of the $90 billion per year in net benefits which the administration claims from all regulations issued since January 2009. As my analysis in the current issue of the journal Business Economics shows, these benefit estimates should be viewed with considerable skepticism. But even taking them at face value, the Obama administration’s claims of regulatory genius compared to its predecessors are on shaky ground, especially now that the court has found one of its signature rules to be illegal.

Prof. Susan Dudley

George Washington University

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