When the EPA issued its anti-coal Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and Mercury Air Transport Standard rules in 2011, for example, the agency claimed that as many as 320,000 lives would be saved annually, returning about $290 billion worth of economic benefits every year.
Given that the coal industry is only worth about $65 billion annually to the economy, shutting it down in exchange for the purported benefits of EPA rules would be an obvious economic no-brainer — that is, if the EPA’s characterization of ambient PM2.5 was even half true.
While it’s possible that the Chinese government is suppressing reports of pollution-related deaths, it’s also true that photos, reports and news stories are nonetheless leaking out — and none support the EPA’s claims. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing, which monitors Beijing air quality on a real-time basis, has so far offered no information or evidence that anyone has been harmed, much less killed, by such an extreme air pollution incident.
Congress ought to take this opportunity to investigate what’s happening in China while the facts are fresh, and then compare the seemingly benign reality of extreme PM2.5 pollution to the EPA’s costly fantasy.
Steve Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and is a senior fellow at the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT).
By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution