Institute for Policy Integrity logo

Twitter @policyintegrity

Project Updates

Why is the government skewing the economic analysis for coal ash regulation?

June 4, 2010

Recently, the EPA released an unofficial, pre-publication copy of a regulation designed to address coal ash, the toxic leftovers of the coal-combustion process.

The unofficial rule contains a misleading presentation of the net benefits of the regulation. The draft makes assumptions based on vague, speculative, and unsupported concerns raised by stakeholders about the effects of the new rule on recycling coal ash into things like asphalt.

So today, Policy Integrity sent the agency a letter asking them to correct the mistake.

This is an example of how cost-benefit analysis can be skewed to avoid stronger protections. The likelihood is that coal ash waste would be used in beneficial ways following a regulation. But the federal government is shoe-horning questionable information into its own economic analysis, potentially biasing the result.

Filed under Environmental Health, News