Protecting the Environment (Letter to the Editor)

SIR – Your article about the resignation of Christine Todd Whitman as head of America’s Environmental Protection Agency suggests that the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s opposition to the Kyoto protocols was part of a plot to undermine her position (“The end of the road”, May 24th).,, While we are flattered by the implication that we had enough influence to oust such a senior figure in the administration, we need to set the record straight.

We will oppose the Kyoto protocols whoever is in charge at the EPA. They would burden America with a huge economic cost for a benefit that is negligible even if you accept the worst-case scenarios for climate change, which are themselves scientifically flawed. Kyoto is a huge misallocation of resources that must be opposed for everyone’s benefit. The thinking that Kyoto must be a good thing, despite the scientific and economic weaknesses of the argument, is exactly the sort of rhetoric that bedevils the EPA. Its new director needs to confront the erroneous assumption that more ill-thought-out and costly regulations are the key to achieving better environmental quality. In the absence of a clear thinker at the EPA, we are proud to provide that service.