Inquirer Shows More Intellectual Rigor on Ozone

By August 30, 2007Energy

The Philadelphia Inquirer today, in “Curbing Pollution,” editorially calls for the EPA to enact stricter ozone standards, siding with the excessive, expensive, jobs-killing regulations based on debatable science and methodology. To the editorial page’s credit, unlike the L.A. Times, the Inquirer at least acknowledges some consequence or cost.

No question, it could boost industry and consumer costs to limit the power-plant and auto emissions that trigger much of the nation’s smog.

Yeah, no question. And if those costs exceed the benefits by twofold, fivefold, tenfold? If those costs reduce economic growth and destroy jobs? Still go ahead?

Well, in the world of small favors, the Inquirer did devote 24 words to the counterarguments. A fleeting, glib, dismissive acknowledgement, but it’s more than the L.A. Times could manage.

UPDATE (12:15 p.m.): The San Francisco Chronicle’s editorial, “California needs tougher rules on ozone” simply ignores any question of cost. It makes no effort toward cost-benefit analysis or recognizing there may be another legitimate point of view. The only argument, other than emotional, is an appeal to authority: “an outside panel of experts.” It’s as if the writers mean the editorials not to be an effort to persuade, but purely a statement of faith.

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