Heritage Foundation Wants To Roll Back Environmental Laws 50 Years

There are lots of conservative Americans who write in to say that they care about the environment and are worried about dependence on foreign oil, even if they wish we would stop pushing the climate change agenda. I would think they and just about anyone in the country would be worried about the agenda of the The Heritage Foundation, sent to House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa at his request. The whole shopping list is worth reading, but being TreeHugger, lets just look at the issues affecting the environment:

Rescind the Bush Government's Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007

Ok, no surprise here, this is a common argument. One could probably make the point that there are more people put to work researching and manufacturing LEDs in America than were put out of work when that light bulb factory closed.

"No longer do consumers have exercise the freedom to balance appliance performance against cost."

Really? Appliances have never been cheaper in North America. Did efficiency standards increase the costs of appliances or did the manufacturers just get better at making them? My new Kenmore made-in-USA front-loading washer and dryer are quieter, faster, use less water and do a better job than the ones they replaced. Is product innovation suffering?

And the Jevons Paradox stuff about using more electricity because of greater efficiency is not true. As I noted here, people who drive hybrids don't go twice as far and fridges can only get so big and still fit in a kitchen.

With respect to standards increasing sticker prices, they should also probably try to get air bags and bumper rules changed, since they increase cost. But to say that the most troublesome thing is that tens of thousands of deaths have been caused, there is no evidence of this. In fact, studies say the opposite:

Our main results are that sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are not necessarily safer for their drivers than cars; on average they are as risky as the average midsize or large car, and no safer than many of the most popular compact and subcompact models. Minivans and import luxury cars have the safest records. If combined risk is considered, most cars are safer than the average SUV, while pickup trucks are much less safe than all other types.

No surprise here, we would have expected that.

Some surprise here, given the strength of the farm lobby.

But ultimately, it all comes down to the fact that any energy efficiency regulation is bad, that there is somehow gas and electricity to burn and we don't need to worry about it, that 50 years of energy and pollution regulation should be thrown out the window, and that everything will be well in the world if American workers can make the vertical axis washers and giant V8 powered pickups that they used to.

This is not a conservative agenda; the root of that word is conserve. Most of these regulations came in during republican as well as democrat administrations. Can they be serious?

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