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What's The Real Cost of Overregulation?

That's a question our friend Pat Cleary of the NAM Blog asked yesterday:
As we've noted in this space before, the government's own Energy Information Administration has predicted that energy costs will continue to soar in the months ahead. The cost for people to stay warm this winter in the Northeast and the Midwest are expected to be nothing short of astronomical, a burden that falls disproportionately on the poor and middle class. Because we can see this storm cloud coming (in fact, it's already here), we just wanted to remind everyone that this country's energy policy has been held hostage for years by a small band of extreme environmentalists:

-- They have discouraged the use of coal in spite of the fact that our clean coal technology leads the world and in spite of the fact that our coal reserves exceed (in BTU's) all the world's oil reserves;

-- They've resisted the development of nuclear power. We've not built a nuclear plant in this country since the 70's. France gets over 80% of its power from nuclear. They've built 58 nuclear plants since the 70's.

-- There are about 50 liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in the world. Exactly 5 are in the US. (Japan has 23.) The permitting process for building them here is both cumbersome and expensive.

-- Environmentalists have resisted further exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a parcel the size of the state of South Carolina, where drilling will occur in a footprint the size of Dulles Airport. What's their plan?
That's a question we've asked in another context, but we're not holding our breath waiting for an answer.

We should note that Pat has cross-posted these thoughts over at Red State, where they've kicked up quite a bit of dust.

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Comments

Matthew66 said…
The cost of over regulation is also augmented by the fact that courts in the USA do not award costs against unsuccessful plaintiffs except where the lawsuit is frivolous. If environmental groups had to pay defendants' costs and court costs after unsuccessful litigation, they might think twice about suing. The practice of making unsuccessful civil litigants paying other parties' and court costs is well established in countries like Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. When Greenpeace unsuccessfully sued to try and prevent the construction of a research reactor in Sydney, Australia, it had to pay the costs of the courts, the regulator, the purchaser, and the vendor, all of whom were named as defendants.

Making losers in a lawsuit pay other parties' costs may stop lawsuits being used as a delaying tactic.

Such a proposal would require a major law reform in all states and the federal government.

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