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The EPA's Benefit/Cost Jihad on U.S. Electric Utilities

By Garrett Vaughn -- October 10, 2011

[Ed. Note: Also see Mr. Vaughn’s previous post: The U.S. EPA’s Regulatory Clean Air Benefit-Cost Estimates (30 free lunches for the price of 1?)]

President Obama’s deferment of the EPA’s latest ozone standards puts on hold annual compliance costs that the Agency estimated at $90 billion by 2020. The Wall Street Journal termed the $90 billion figure an “undoubtedly lowball estimate.” [1]

Undoubtedly, to be sure (more on that in a moment). Even so, it’s news when the EPA ‘fesses up to costs as serious as $90 billion, instead of estimating chump change, such as the $0.8 billion a year estimated for the proposed “Clean Air Transport Rule” (CATR) aimed at utilities.

Getting Into the Numbers

The $0.8 billion estimate has flown under the media’s radar but—in its own way—merits more media attention than the $90 ozone number.…