The various contenders for the Republican Presidential nomination have been falling all over themselves to attack the Environmental Protection Agency, joining their congressional colleagues in a race to see who can call loudest for abolition of the agency. According to these critics, the continued existence of the EPA is a leading reason job creation has lagged the recovery.
It’s so nice to have a simple explanation for our current economic lethargy. Get rid of the tree-huggers! Everyone knows that scientists just made up stuff like global climate change anyway. (What no one seems to know is why they would do that, but let’s not think too deeply or we might get headaches…)
Let’s assume the EPA is really enforcing policies that hinder job growth. I’ve seen no evidence to that effect, but let’s play “what if.” Does that mean we should NOT protect the environment? Wouldn’t it make more sense to evaluate EPA regulations, to do a cost-benefit analysis to see how we can continue to protect the earth while taking care not to unduly hinder the economy? Of course, that sort of analysis is complex. It requires analytical skills. And it doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker.
If we don’t emerge pretty soon from this era of stupidity, we’re doomed.