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Category — Precautionary Principle

Perry’s Energy Speech: Part II (EPA vs. abundant energy)

“The third part of my plan is to reform the bureaucracy, in particular the EPA, so that it focuses on regional and cross-state issues, providing scientific research, as well as environmental analysis and cost-comparison studies to support state environmental organizations. We will return greater regulatory authority to the states to manage air and water quality rather than imposing one-size-fits-all federal rules.”

- Gov. Rick Perry,  Energizing American Jobs and Security, October 14, 2011.

Part I yesterday described Governor Rick Perry’s call for greater oil and gas resource access to government land to help create economic and job growth–and open-ended opportunity given technological developments.

Indeed, ‘peak oil’ and ‘peak gas’ concerns have been waylaid by reality. At a recent conference of the U.S. Association for Energy Economics in Washington, D.C., it was clear that energy economists believe that demand for petroleum will not fall around the globe for many years, decades, and possibly centuries to come.

Therefore, if we do not produce it here, production will occur by countries, such as China and Venezuela, that do not currently have the resources we do to efficiently drill for oil and take care of our beautiful planet. Moreover, many of these countries are not friendly to us and will use the funds in a way that may not be helpful for future peace and prosperity.

EPA’s Ram: The ‘Precautionary Principle’

Governor Perry is correct that individual states are better prepared to decide on public policy initiatives that reflect the needs of their citizens. Allowing for a competitive environment between states will bring about innovation and quality energy production that is beneficial to the states and the nation.

Regulations put in place by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are based on the precautionary principle, which is defined at dictionary.com as follows:

In environmental matters, the theory that if the effects of a product or actions are unknown, then the product should not be used or the action should not be taken.

This better-safe-than-sorry principle, however, does not take into account the real costs, which include opportunity costs, to the economy and society. Therefore, making policy based on the precautionary principle is misguided and could do more harm than good in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing healthier outcomes for citizens. [Read more →]

October 18, 2011   6 Comments