In the Republican presidential debate last evening, some of the candidates passionately stated that the Environmental Protection Agency should be eliminated. It’s a position that sounds strange to some ears. As a respondent in a Fox News focus group said after the debate, and this is a paraphrase, “This all sounds good when you fixate on the minutia, but we can’t just end the EPA.”
This attitude is no surprise. The one exception to the law that it’s easier to destroy than create is big government programs and bureaucracies. Once they’re the status quo and people become accustomed to their existence, folks just cannot imagine how they could live without them. But is it really true that we’d get a visit from the Smog Monster if the EPA went extinct? And does it really advance the good on balance? Let’s examine the matter.
Just recently, the EPA decreed that New York City must place a concrete cover over a 90-acre reservoir in nearby Yonkers — to the tune of $1.6 billion. Now, the city, nanny state though it is, strongly objected to the mandate. The Big Apple just didn’t have the money, and, besides, its own department of environmental protection (NYCDEP) stated that such a move would offer the public a negligible benefit at best.
Read the rest here.