ENVI 230 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Rulemaking, Love Canal, Political Question

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1990 CAA Amendments Continued..
Once listed as a HAP, source may not be de-listed without a scientific finding that: “no
source in the category..exceed a level which is adequate to protect public health
1998: Study completed finding plausible link between coal and oil burning electric utilities
and mercury emissions
Begins rulemaking process → the process by which the bureaucracy makes
rules to be carried out through congress
2000 “Mercury Rule”
“Necessary and Appropriate to regulate coal and oil electric utilities
Mercury is a HAP
Bureaucracy = executive agencies”
Coal and oil utilities produce mercury
Therefore C&C regulation
2004 Proposals
New administration, new priorities
Proposed rules:
Issue permits and regulate
De-list power plants and regulate under other sections (two rules as-one
Would allow the creation of tradable permits
2005 Rule & Lawsuit
2005: EPA de-lists utilities as source of mercury and pass cap-and-trade
Justification: not “necessary and appropriate” anymore
2011-2012: Mercury Air Toxic Standards
2011: EPA reaffirms 2000 findings, relaunches rule-making procedures
2012: Final rule “mercury air toxics standards’ (MATS) published
2014: Various lawsuits dismissed until…..
2015: SCOTUS finding (Michigan V. EPA)
Michigan V. EPA (2015)
“Read naturally in the present context, the phrase “appropriate and necessary”
requires at least some attention to cost. One would not say that it is even
rational, never mine appropriate to impose billions of dollars in economic costs in
return for a few dollars in health or environmental benefits
Economic Analysis: The Basics
Simply a methodology to assess costs and benefits:
Of alternative policies
Basic decision-rule:
If B>C, then implement policy
If B<C, then seek a different policy
The Role of Marginality
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