May 29, 2014

More EPA hokum

By M. Reed Hopper Senior Attorney

Hokum:

(1) a device used (as by showmen) to evoke a desired audience response;

(2) untrue words or ideas;

(3) pretentious nonsense.

We demonstrated in an earlier post how disingenuous the EPA Administrator was in claiming the EPA’s expansive new rule defining “waters of the United States” would “increase[] clarity, save us time, keep money in our pockets, cut red tape, and give certainty to business.” Now, noted economist, Dr. David Sunding, of the University of California – Berkeley, has completed a devastating critique of the EPA’s economic analysis of the new rule exposing it as pure hokum.

Dr. Sunding’s report, Review of 2014 EPA Economic Analysis of Proposed Revised Definition of Water of the United States, reveals how EPA misrepresented the scope, cost and benefits of the new rule. According to Dr. Sunding, the new rule drastically expands the “waters of the United States” to include small, isolated wetlands, ephemeral drains, and even local ditches. But to lesson the apparent impacts of the new rule on communities and business, the EPA understated the reach of the rule, excluded costs and employed faulty analytical methods. Dr. Sunding concludes that the EPA economic analysis is so flawed and misleading as to be useless.

Unfortunately, EPA’s loose treatment of the facts has become the “new normal.”

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