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EPA regulations aren't unfair

PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:18 pm
by Wilberforce
April 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm
Commentary: EPA regulations aren't unfair
By Dale Hansen

In an attempt to drum up fear, the oil industry recently released data suggesting new Environmental Protection Agency rules meant to clean up sulfur pollution from gasoline will add as much as 9 cents per gallon to the cost of fuel for your car. The EPA feels the cost would be closer to 1 cent per gallon since refineries are already producing gasoline with the same specs for other countries.

The EPA estimates the change will save 2,400 people per year from dying a premature death, and prevent as many as 23,000 cases of respiratory illness in children per year.

China is experiencing a similar pollution issue, which has had devastating consequences. It currently estimates that air pollution in China prematurely ends the lives of 1.2 million residents per year, costing 5.8 percent of GDP.

So while the oil industry and others sound alarms regarding the costs of fixing a problem that cuts short the lives of thousands (while making life more difficult for tens of thousands more) the reality is that doing nothing also has a cost.

The irony here, for those who oppose the sulfur rules, is what they do support.

If money were the sole concern, we should consider ending our patent system since it adds an estimated 13 percent to the cost of a cell phone, for example. While 22 Republican senators voted against the Violence Against Women Act, domestic violence against women leads to more than 1,200 deaths per year while costing over $5 billion a year in health care costs. And when it comes to saving a collection of cells, anti-abortion advocates spare no expense — even putting measures in place to increase the cost of the medical procedure to remove those unwanted cells.

The reality is that increased costs are a red herring.

Most would gladly spend an extra hundred dollars a year if they knew it would give them more time to spend with elderly family members. Unfortunately, we have reached a point where politics now trumps compassion and we have people booing a serviceman because he is gay, cheering the death of an uninsured man, and wildly applauding the execution of death row inmates.

While most Americans could use more dollars in their pocket, the idea that a nominal amount of cash is an acceptable rationale for letting others die shows that America's biggest deficiency has nothing to do with money.

To read more by Hansen and other bloggers, like WJR Radio host Frank Beckmann, join us at The Politics Blog at .

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