Focus Point - Truckers v. EPACommentary by
December 01, 2000
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. It's the truckers versus EPA in the Supreme Court. Take my advice and pull for the truckers.
Truckers contend that pending EPA regulations to cut smog-causing ozone are unfair because the cost of implementing them would exceed any benefits. Why is the case a big deal? Because if the court rules that cost-benefit analyses are a good thing, it could actually benefit public health.
Right now, EPA can just assume -- based on bad science, or even no science -- that regulations are a good thing. If they actually had to do a cost-benefit analysis, that is, prove what they postulated was true, they'd have to concentrate on real problems.
As the New Republic recently noted, lawmakers are squeamish about putting dollar value on human life -- which is what cost-benefit is all about -- but economists do it all the time. Asking the EPA to quantify the results of its policies is not radical. It's not callous. It's simply rational and fair. And it's about time.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you next time.