I must finally be finishing up graduate school and able to catch my breath a bit, as I chose to actually read the latest Environmental Defense Action e-mail instead of deleting it immediately and cursing my decision to get a second master’s degree. Here’s the lame public comment I sent to the EPA regarding the toxic air pollution regulations they should have put into effect two decades ago. How long will we have to wait for greenhouse gas pollution regulations?
Thank you for promulgating, after 20 years of delays, a strong Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule to limit hazardous air pollution from U.S. power plants.
While estimates put the cost of compliance with this new rule at $10 billion annually, the cost-benefit analysis decisively on the side of regulation: By preventing an estimated 17,000 premature deaths annually and protecting millions of Americans from preventable cancer, and cardiovascular, dermal, respiratory, and immune systems diseases, the rule will result in total health and economic benefits estimated at $140 billion annually.
In addition, any increased energy prices resulting from this rule simply signal the economic and environmental truth about the real costs of polluting energy sources like coal. These price signals make nonpolluting renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and tidal more economically competitive. The new rule may thereby have an additional benefit of marginally decreasing climate-disturbing greenhouse gas emissions.
Thanks again for instituting the Air Toxics Standards rule.