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Lisa Heinzerling's Posts

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Ozone madness

On Friday, President Obama announced that he had asked EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw the final National Ambient Air Quality Standard (known as a "NAAQS") for ozone pollution, which she and her expert agency had sent to the White House for review. The president's announcement is terribly bad news, and terribly bad policy, on several scores. 1. Law: The reason the president gave for asking EPA to withdraw its standard is an unlawful reason. President Obama explained that while his administration has taken actions (some only proposed) to strengthen protections under the Clean Air Act, he has, "[a]t the …

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Cost-benefit environmentalism: an oxymoron

Lisa Heinzerling responds to Richard Revesz on cost-benefit analysis

The efficient wasteland In his essay, Richard Revesz argues in favor of a "cost-benefit environmentalism" that embraces economic analysis and "uses both reason and compassion to justify strong environmental rules." It is wonderful to have such a prominent fan of cost-benefit analysis explicitly embrace environmental values; this doesn't happen every day. The trouble is, however, that cost-benefit analysis is at odds with fundamental premises of environmentalism, and it's not particularly good at either reason or compassion. Environmentalism has many subtleties and variations, but I think most environmentalists share certain core beliefs. They are convinced that the future matters -- that …

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