October 11, 2006
The Wall Street Journal reports today that U.S. and European
firms were unsuccessful in an attempt to make the proposed chemicals policy in
Europe more affordable during committee consideration of the bill in the EU
Parliament. But even if business had succeeded in reducing paperwork
costs, the policy would still have adverse effects around the world.
The program, known as REACH—for the registration,
authorization, and evaluation of chemicals—would require companies to register chemicals
they produce, import, or use. The paperwork
alone will be expensive, but the program is also likely to produce expensive
bans and other regulations on many chemicals.
Industry has continually tried to make REACH a more
reasonable program, but unfortunately they are fighting a losing battle.
The problem is that REACH is fundamentally flawed and thus, cannot be fixed.
First, REACH attempts to address...
October 5, 2006
Rosenberg's article in today's New York
Times addresses the devastating impact that misguided bans of the pesticide
DDT have had on people in developing nations. The New York Times presents
the DDT issue as simply a serious policy mistake. But it's not simply a single mistake—it's
part of a dangerous effort by environmental activists around the world to
deprive people of various life-saving technologies. The DDT case alone should discredit these
groups, yet they continue to have a harmful influence on public policy.
the problems DDT bans have caused, environmental activists have successfully
advanced a worldwide ban on DDT under the Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
(known as the POPs Treaty). The
treaty has been ratified in enough nations for it to take effect, and the
United States Senate plans to ratify it soon. It allows for only limited...
September 25, 2006
Why do liberals always assume that the solution to every
problem is regulation and yet more regulation? That's the thrust of an
editorial in today's New York Times that whines: “Congress still has done
nothing to protect Americans from a terrorist attack on chemical plants.” It assumes that Congress has some magical
answer to the issue members refuse to employ because of chemical industry lobbying. It also wrongly claims that nothing has been
done to protect these plants.
Consider the evidence first. All the answers that Congress has considered largely involve growing the
federal bureaucracy with needless paperwork and meddling in production
processes of which they have no knowledge. Indeed, the chemical plant security issue has mostly been used as an
excuse for environmental activists and their allies in Congress to push an environmental
agenda to reduce or eliminate the use...
September 6, 2006
When it comes to regulatory policy, it seems that among the
few voices of reason in the Europe today is an American. In today's Wall
Street Journal Europe, U.S. Ambassador to the EU, C. Boyden Gray, has outlined
the inanity of the proposed chemicals policy—the so called REACH policy—that
European legislators are expected to pass into law before the new year.
REACH is the acronym for the appropriately bureaucratic name
of the policy: Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization, of Chemicals.
Yes—believe it or not—some companies will undergo that many
bureaucratic steps before doing business in Europe. The program is based
on the precautionary principle, which demands that firms prove their products
safe before introducing them into commerce—a standard that is impossible to
meet. The result is will likely be arbitrary bans and regulations on many