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Guest columnist: Nicholas Scott

Does the Clean Air Act Pay Off?

March 14, 2011

There has been a swirl of debate over the issue of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Air Act on Capitol Hill as of late. The GOP wishes to repeal the restrictive policies set forth by this act, while the EPA continues to defend the idea that rigid regulations are crucial to the health of our environment. Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, a lead author of legislation repealing some of the EPA’s most onerous policies, will be rallying troops in the coming weeks in an effort to lure more Democrats to support his bill. But the question remains: will he succeed?

For the sake of our Nation, let us hope so. The EPA’s undying lust for climate control policies has been limiting job growth and crippling innovation. Business development has suffered; often citing numerous EPA regulations such as the Clean Air Act or the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The American Coke and Coal Chemicals Institute (ACCCI) believes that under the draconian rule of the EPA our Nation’s businesses may fall behind international competition, stating:
“In recent months, EPA has undertaken an unprecedented regulatory agenda by promulgating or proposing a host of rules in the areas of air, water, solid waste, greenhouse gases, and toxic chemicals … in a nutshell, these new regulations will create permitting obstacles to expand and modernize our facilities and will impose significant additional costs that are difficult recoup in the face of intense international competition.”
And with all of these regulations, where is the pay off? How do these blanket policies affect the individual? Upon hearing stories of small communities that are riddled with mesothelioma symptoms, you have to wonder why the EPA doesn’t address issues like this more directly. Even today, individuals are just discovering that their homes and offices are insulated with asbestos. Because the symptoms of mesothelioma don’t surface for up to 20 years after exposure, such a discovery can be devastating for the families who find asbestos in their home. With the mesothelioma life expectancy being no longer than fourteen months at most, American citizens are dying while the EPA stands there twiddling their thumbs and obstructing business with nonsense about climate change.

While clean water, a clean environment, and overall concern for our planet are positive things, the current opportunity cost for EPA regulations tip the scale unfavorably for our nation.

From Florida, USA

March 16, 2011 - What do you have against clean air? - B.B., Ohio

March 15, 2011 - Hopefully, newly-elected conservatives in congress will stop the EPA from becoming the dictator of our exhalations. This is nothing but another attempt by the left to assume powers which Americans did NOT give them at the ballot box. Good column. - Holly S., California

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