January 2, 2019
Sizing up Trump's pivot from Obama
EPIC Director Michael Greenstone weighs in on the Trump administration's approach to calculating the costs and benefits of environmental regulations.
By Ben Gemanvia Axios
Let's spend a little more time with the 2-year anniversary of the Trump era, as sometimes the most consequential changes to the massive federal regulatory apparatus are not always the ones that get the most press.
What's happening: Officials are altering the way costs and benefits of environmental and public health regulations are considered more broadly.
- One big example is sharply lowering estimates of a metric called the "social cost of carbon."
- Another is altering how regulators view "co-benefits." It's basically the way basically the way that rules aimed at one type of pollutant have beneficial health effects by cutting other dangerous emissions.
What they're saying: “There is a quiet revolution going on,” University of Chicago economist Michael Greenstone says.
- “The Trump administration has systematically been altering the guts of that machinery, always in the direction of making the environment less important,” notes Greenstone, who was chief economist on the Council of Economic Advisers early in the Obama years.