ACSH s Miller & Enstrom Breath Fresh Air into Pollution Debate

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ACSH trustees Dr. Henry I. Miller, a Hoover Institution fellow, and James E. Enstrom, a professor at UCLA School of Public Health, contributed an op-ed yesterday in condemning California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations on diesel trucks and other vehicles, which are said to emit a form of air pollution known as diesel particulate matter.

The primary evidence for harm is the small but statistically significant association found in a few national epidemiologic studies between total mortality and fine particulate air pollution (technically known as PM2.5, the very small-particulate soot that originates from diesel engines, forest fires, other sources of combustion and dust). Failing to appreciate the critical distinction between association and causation, CARB assumed that PM2.5 exposure causeshigher mortality ¦Given CARB's procedural irregularities, the lack of evidence that PM2.5 actually inflicts significant harm on Californians, and the huge financial burden that the regulations impose on the state's industries--one that will ultimately be passed along to consumers--CARB should suspend the rules and request a competent, independent reassessment of their scientific rationale. Otherwise, like vapor from a tailpipe, billions of dollars will vanish into thin air.