Sunday, October 20, 2013

Would Limiting Carbon Emissions Destroy the Economy?

Credit: AP Photo / Bob Leverone
The perennial response when lawmakers try to clean up the environment, cut pollution, or reduce greenhouse gas emissions:  you can do it, but only if you’re prepared to wreck the economy.

People or the environment.  Jobs or the planet.  That is the tradeoff.

There’s just one problem:  the historical record provides scant evidence this tradeoff exists.  America entered the environmental regulation businesses in earnest in 1970, with the creation of the EPA and the passage of major legislation like the Clean Air Act.  Since then, a reliable pattern has emerged:  new regulations are proposed, warnings of crushing costs and job losses ensue, and then — if the regulation survives — little of the prophesied destruction comes to pass.

Would Limiting Carbon Emissions Destroy the Economy?

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