EPA To Evaluate the Role for Economy-wide Modeling in Assessing Its Air Regulations


Source: Federal Register and SOCMA
Related Topics: US Environmental Protection Agency

Yesterday, EPA announced in the Federal Register that it was “evaluating the appropriate role for economy-wide modeling” in the environmental regulatory process.

More specifically, the Agency is “developing an ‘analytic blueprint’ of materials on the technical merits and challenges of using economy-wide models to evaluate the social costs, benefits, and economic impacts associated with EPA’s air regulations.”  Additionally, EPA will also be looking for advice “from the Science Advisory Board (SAB) on economy-wide modeling, and will present materials from the blueprint to inform a discussion of charge questions to a new SAB panel with expertise in economy-wide modeling.” 

The economy-wide model approach has long been favored by industry, and would consider a range of economic impacts (such as energy price and labor market impacts) in evaluating regulations.  The notice also notes, however, that there are “serious technical challenges” to adopting such a model.  But EPA had made an agreement last summer with Senator David Vitter (R-LA) to consider using the model.  Senator Vitter is the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and a current gubernatorial candidate in Louisiana.  

Comments are due April 7.

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