Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

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.

It came as no surprise to environmentalists that certain industry players claimed limits on pollution from coal plants would be too costly. Photo credit: iStock

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.


Oregon Becomes First State in Nation to Sign Bill That Phases Out Coal, Ramps Up Renewables

182: Total Number of Climate Deniers in Congress

Scientists: Links Between Climate Change and Extreme Weather Are Clear

Duke Energy vs. Solar Energy: Battle Over Solar Heats Up in North Carolina

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Derrick Jackson

By Derrick Z. Jackson

As much as hurricanes Katrina and Maria upended African American and Latinx families, the landfall of the coronavirus brings a gale of another order. This Category 5 of infectious disease packs the power to level communities already battered from environmental, economic, and health injustice. If response and relief efforts fail to adequately factor in existing disparities, the current pandemic threatens a knockout punch to the American Dream.

Read More Show Less
President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable meeting with energy sector CEOs in the Cabinet Room of the White House April 3 in Washington, DC. Doug Mills-Pool / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

A coalition of climate organizations strongly criticized President Donald Trump's in-person Friday meeting with the chief executives of some of the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world, saying the industry that fueled climate disaster must not be allowed to profiteer from government giveaways by getting bailout funds or preferred treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less

By SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

An Important Note

No supplement, diet, or lifestyle modification — aside from social distancing and practicing proper hygiene ⁠— can protect you from developing COVID-19.

The strategies outlined below may boost your immune health, but they don't protect specifically against COVID-19.

Read More Show Less

By Zak Smith

It is pretty amazing that in this moment when the COVID-19 outbreak has much of the country holed up in their homes binging Netflix, the most watched show in America over the last few weeks has been focused on wildlife trade — which scientists believe is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is about wildlife trade and other aspects of wildlife exploitation, just as surely as the appearance of Ebola, SARS, MERS, avian flu and probably COVID-19 in humans is a result of wildlife exploitation. As a conservationist, this is one of the things I've been thinking about while watching Tiger King. Here are five more:

Read More Show Less

By Hector Chapa

With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading, U.S. health officials have changed their advice on face masks and now recommend people wear cloth masks in public areas where social distancing can be difficult, such as grocery stores.

But can these masks be effective?

Read More Show Less