Publisher's Note:

One of the most significant things you can do to promote Liberty is to support our efforts. Please make your gift to the 2020 Year-End Campaign today. Thank you! —Mark Alexander, Publisher

Jordan Candler / Jun. 7, 2018

How the Obama EPA Fudged Regulatory Evaluation

Estimating "social costs" and "social benefits," the EPA put a big price tag on doing nothing.

It isn’t necessarily news to say the Obama administration used the Environmental Protection Agency treacherously, employing deceitful methods to enact a burdensome environmental agenda. But a recent report sheds some light on one way this was accomplished — “by gaming cost-benefit analysis to downplay the consequences of its major environmental rules,” The Wall Street Journal reveals.

The Obama EPA produced an annualized average of 565 directives, “imposing the highest regulatory costs of any agency,” according to the Journal. Legally, the EPA is generally required to submit these proposals to a cost-benefit analysis. The caveat is that the agency is also afforded considerable leeway in the process. The Obama administration considered this an opportunity and proceeded to exploit the system by estimating a cost for not enacting regulations.

The Journal explains, “By introducing ‘social costs’ and ‘social benefits,’ the EPA began factoring in speculation about how regulatory inaction would affect everything from rising sea levels to pediatric asthma. EPA optimists even included their guesses about how domestic regulations could have a global impact. Meanwhile, the agency ignored best practices from the Office of Management and Budget, juking the numbers to raise the cost of carbon emissions.”

To illustrate, in the run-up to the superfluous and extremely costly Clean Power Plan, the Journal says “the EPA suddenly raised the social cost of a ton of carbon emissions to an average of $36 from $21. Before it embarked on new oil and gas regulations, the EPA put the social cost of methane at an average of $1,100 per ton.” After reexamining the claims using verifiable criteria, Scott Pruitt’s EPA came up with vastly different numbers. The result? “While the Obama Administration claimed the Clean Power Plan would yield up to $43 billion in net benefits by 2030, the Trump EPA concluded it would carry a $13 billion net cost,” the Journal notes.

Thankfully, Pruitt intends to ameliorate the cost-benefit analysis process. Earlier this year, “secret science” was banned, to which Pruitt explained, “We need to make sure [the] data and methodology are published as part of the record. Otherwise, it’s not transparent.” His rationalization to the cost-benefit analysis change is exactly the same. As the Journal concludes, “If Mr. Pruitt succeeds, future cost-benefit analyses will be more consistent and transparent.” Pruitt is both reining in the EPA and demonstrating the extent to which his predecessors went rogue.

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2020 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.