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Press Release

Report: EPA’s $2 Trillion Promise Based on Attitudes Not Economic Growth

June 15, 2011

(Alexandria, VA) -- As U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson heads to Capitol Hill today to testify before Congress regarding her agency’s regulations, the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) released a new report analyzing the purported economic effects of those rules. In “Assessment of Obama Administration’s Cost-Benefit Analysis of Clean Air Act Regulation,” economist David Montgomery reveals the very large net regulatory benefits touted by EPA rely on apples to orange comparisons, where the vast majority of the benefits have none of the financial reality that the costs do.

“In its Clean Air Act appraisal, EPA substitutes calculated misdirection for solid analysis,” explained NTU Executive Vice President Pete Sepp. “Nearly all of EPA’s promised $2 trillion in benefits from existing regulations stem from feelings rather than fiscal improvements.

“Federal regulators arrived at their staggering figures by polling individuals on how much they’d be willing to pay to reduce risks in general, mostly using estimates from studies of occupational risks unrelated to air pollution,” Sepp continued.

Dr. Montgomery added: “While less than 3 percent of the EPA’s purported benefits will show up as additional jobs or real output in the economy, 100 percent of the costs will do so. Even EPA’s own macroeconomic analysis shows that existing air pollution regulations are a net drag on the economy. And EPA’s tally doesn’t even take into account the costs of its pending new ozone standards and regulations on electric utilities over the next decade.”

Click here to read the full report.

To speak with Sepp or Montgomery, please contact Doug Kellogg at (703) 683-5700 or

NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. Note: For more on NTU’s regulatory policy work, visit