This Scare Tactic Used to Block Environmental Rules Is Getting Old
It came as no surprise to environmentalists that certain industry players claimed limits on pollution from coal plants would be too costly.
Nor were we shocked that opponents are claiming that rules to cut smog are too expensive. Or that they're saying the same thing about rules aimed at cutting dangerous methane leaks from oil and gas facilities.
For as long as there have been debates about clean air, some in industry have used cost as a scare tactic to control the public debate. That’s despite the fact that cleaning our air has always been a net positive for our economy.
Just ask the power company executives, electric reliability experts, state regulators and even politicians who agree that curbing carbon and ozone pollution is the best path for our economy and environment.
In fact, every time we try to clean the air, we hear such exaggerated claims. Lobbyists know that it’s a good way to scare the public, few of whom are able to review economic studies to check the numbers.
So let’s consult past experiences from clean air regulations.
A careful analysis of industry claims about the cost of clean air rules demonstrates that industry consistently—and sometimes wildly—exaggerates costs. The truth is that consumers win every time we clean up pollution and this time should be no different.
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How Did Cyanobacteria Poison the Elephants?<p>Cyanobacteria are microscopic organisms common in water and sometimes found in soil. Some cyanobacteria produce neurotoxins.</p><p>The cyanobacteria "was growing in pans" or watering holes, the principal veterinary officer of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Mmadi Reuben, told reporters.</p><p>Reuben said the deaths had "stopped towards the end of June 2020, coinciding with the drying of pans."</p><p>"However we have many questions still to be answered such as why the elephants only and why that area only? We have a number of hypotheses we are investigating," added Reuben.</p><p>Similar elephant deaths have also been recorded in neighboring Zimbabwe.</p>
Climate Change to Blame?<p>Not all cyanobacteria are toxic but scientists say varieties dangerous to humans and animals are occurring more frequently as climate change drives up global temperatures.</p><p>Southern Africa's temperatures are rising at twice the global average, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.</p>
Elephant Paradise?<p>Africa's overall elephant population is declining due to poaching. But Botswana, home to almost a third of the continent's elephants, has seen numbers grow to around 130,000.</p><p>Botswana's government said it was continuing studies into the occurrence of the deadly bacteria. In the winter, elephants hydrate themselves mainly by eating roots and bark, especially of the baobab tree.</p>
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