The EPA’s big power grab, setting itself up to regulate carbon dioxide as a threat to human health, may be in trouble. According to a memo from the Office of Management and Budget, the premise that CO2 is a toxic substance rests on “dubious assumptions and could have negative economic effects.”
When pressed for an explanation by a Senate panel the EPA’s top administrator Lisa Jackson said the agency’s plan to regulate CO2 was based on sound science. How could that be? Even if global warming were real, there is no evidence that it has caused anybody to get sick. The country’s hospitals are not filling up with people dying of greenhouse gas inhalation. For all this talk of rising sea levels, the beach and the sea pretty well meet in the same places they did 30 years ago.
One thing beyond doubt is that restrictions on CO2 emissions will have a large and negative impact on the economy and kill whatever chance we have of some kind of recovery. If ever there were a bad time to regulate CO2 it is now. The biggest failure of the environmental movement is its inability to put its money where its mouth is. The activists agitate for a better environment, but they don’t want to do a cost-benefit analysis, they don’t wants to make the hard choices, let alone put the choices before the voters. And as anybody in private industry will tell you, if the numbers don’t add up you don’t have a plan–you have a pipedream.
Our hat’s off to the OMB though, one of the few agencies willing to crunch the numbers and tell the truth.