By Jesse Kharbanda, HEC Executive Director
Indiana’s air may not be thick with black dust anymore, but air pollution continues to be a challenge in our state. Many of our coal plants, providing the vast majority of our electricity, continue to spew particulates, and our paltry alternatives to automobile travel compound that problem. So Indiana is a state that should particularly pay attention to the Obama Administration’s decision to withdraw new smog-fighting protections – protections that scientists concluded needed to be changed as early as 2006. The Administration cited “easing regulatory burden” for businesses. Past economic evidence – accumulated from years of economic research – shows that costs of complying with new federal environmental protection rules tend to be greatly exaggerated by opponents of reform. The acid rain program is a great example: Industry opponents estimated that costs would be between $2.4 billion and $5 billion per year. And what did it turn out to be: $836 million a year!
The Administration argues that they’re only delaying the smog-fighting rules by two years, but the delay opens up a hornet’s nest for the Administration – having to contradict its commitment to not involve politics in scientific decision-making, and having to contradict its view that the existing smog standards – which the Administration are now defending — are in fact illegal.
HEC Supporters – join environmental and public health allies across the country and call the White House at 202-456-1111! Tell the White House that it is not okay to put political calculation above public health, good economics, good science, and the law.