Trump Plays Down Health Hazard in Justifying Climate Rule Repeal

Bloomberg Politics quotes Myron Ebell on the importance of curbing Carbon Dioxide and how that should pose a greater priority to the Trump administration.

…The Environmental Protection Agency will formally begin undoing Obama’s plan on Tuesday, a process that includes revising some of its underlying calculations to emphasize costs and minimize benefits. Among the casualties: long-held conclusions about how microscopic air pollution jeopardizes human health.

“They are putting their thumb on the scales and changing the math enough so they can say the costs aren’t justified for the Clean Power Plan,” said Conrad Schneider, advocacy director for the Clean Air Task Force, an environmental group that supports the initiative. “It’s a game of trying to reach a predetermined outcome.”

Obama’s EPA relied on the assumption that there are health benefits at reducing particulate matter down to zero, “so no matter how much you reduce it, you will get benefits,” said Andres Restrepo, a Sierra Club staff attorney focusing on air pollution and climate change. “That’s been standard practice.”

Conservatives who have criticized the EPA’s approach under Obama said the Trump administration is right to reevaluate that assumption. Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said he would prefer Trump’s EPA go further and not count the “co-benefits” of reducing fine particulate matter when the real aim is curbing carbon dioxide.

“If these illusory co-benefits are going to be counted, then we think that it is entirely appropriate to cut them off for levels below the national ambient air quality standards,” Ebell said. “That level has been set at what has been determined to be safe for human health. How can there be a health benefit below the safe level?”

Read the full article at Bloomberg Politics.