Today the Supreme Court hears arguments in Michigan v. EPA, to resolve whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must consider costs when deciding whether it is appropriate to regulate hazardous air pollutants emitted by electric utilities.
It’s surprising that an agency would not consider costs when deciding how to regulate. We could make cars safer by requiring that they be made like tanks. We could reduce hospital infections by requiring hazmat-style protective equipment. But alternatives like these are usually not appropriate. It is more reasonable to approach every regulation by weighing its unique costs and benefits. (continue reading…)