A good analysis of the simplistic (and fallacious) reports we get that this or that government regulation (entailing huge costs on the regulated) will spur economic growth. Broken windows everywhere. My only quibble would be that the US does not enjoy excellent air quality (in most areas) these days on account of new air emissions controls as indicated, rather it is because of the transfer of heavy manufacturing and steelmaking to China.
With Bastiat’s excellent fable reprised.
“When considered in terms of that which is not seen, the argument that EPA regulations will necessarily lead to increased productivity, lowered (or at least maintained) electricity costs, and millions of new jobs, is clearly flawed. This flaw is easily demonstrated by taking the author’s assumption to the next step. If clean air, low electricity prices, and strong economic growth are necessarily linked – as they claim in the PERI report – then government and industry should move boldly forward together and mandate a zero-emissions energy policy.
If the PERI/CERES authors are correct, then, by implementing this zero emissions policy, we could put many hundreds of thousands more to work building new zero emissions power plants, or upgrading existing plants. At the same time, we could enjoy a pristine environment. Furthermore, if the author’s claims of a $4 to $8 economic benefit for every $1 spent on compliance is accurate, our abundant jobs and pristine air would be bolstered with what would necessarily be boundless economic growth.”