Benefits of EPA Regulation Far Outweigh Costs

The benefits of Environmental Protection Agency regulations far outweigh the costs, according to a report by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

32 major EPA rules issued over the last ten years will lead to estimated benefits of between $82 billion and $551 billion in 2001 dollars, according to, while the costs are estimated between $23 billion to $29 billion. 

The analysis comes at an important time, disproving Republicans in Congress and critics in the media who say the agency’s regulations hurt the US economy and jobs.

Congressional Republicans are working in everyway possible to block the EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations and weaken the overall regulatory authority of the agency.

While the costs of EPA regulations are the highest of any agency surveyed in the report, the estimated benefits of those regulations are also the highest, and far surpass the costs.

For example, new sulfur dioxide rules issued in 2010 are expected to reap annual benefits of between $11 billion and $61 billion, while the costs are estimated to be between $2 billion and $4 billion. 

Clean Air rules surrounding emissions of fine particulate matter account for the biggest figures in the report.

Here’s an exceprt:

It is important to emphasize that the large estimated benefits of EPA rules are mostly attributable to the reduction in public exposure to a single air pollutant: fine particulate matter. Of its 20 air rules, the rule with the highest estimated benefits is the Clean Air Fine Particle Implementation Rule, with benefits ranging from $19 billion to $167 billion per year. While the benefits of this rule far exceed the costs, the cost estimate for the Clean Air Fine Particle Implementation Rule is also the highest at $7.3 billion per year.

Here’s the report:

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