Revesz and Livermore argue for cost-benefit analysis in op-ed for Forbes.com

Revesz and Livermore urge cost-benefit analysis in op-ed for Forbes.com

In an op-ed in Forbes.com, Richard Revesz, the Dean and Lawrence King Professor of Law, and Michael Livermore, executive director of the Law School’s Institute for Policy Integrity, argue that the door is now open to entertain balanced use of cost-benefit analysis in environmental regulation.

A case in which the Supreme Court just heard oral arguments illustrates the battle between industry and progressives. In Entergy v. EPA, the EPA argued that it was within its rights to interpret a provision of the Clean Water Act while environmentalists argued that Congress did not intend for the agency to use cost-benefit analysis and the EPA’s rules don’t go far enough to protect clean water.

According to the authors, this case echoes a familiar, three-decade struggle in which environmentalists oppose all use of cost-benefit analysis and industry attempts to use economics to justify weaker regulation.

“But that needn’t be the case,” they write. “If done correctly, cost-benefit analysis would very often come out in favor of protecting the environment and public health.”

Revesz and Livermore are co-authors of Retaking Rationality: How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Better Protect the Environment and Our Health, published by Oxford University Press in May.

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