The EPA: More trouble than it s worth and should be abolished, says Dr. Miller

Happy 40th Birthday, EPA, and may it be the last, says Hoover Institution Fellow and former ACSH trustee Dr. Henry Miller. In yet another Regulation article, Dr. Miller counters EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, in which she defends the agency’s environmental “health” mission and asks for a birthday gift of continued funding. Dr. Miller writes:

Notwithstanding Jackson’s claims to the contrary, many critics — including this writer — believe that the 40-year experiment with a free-standing EPA has been a failure and that the agency should be abolished and its essential functions reassigned to other, less scientifically challenged government organizations. But that is unlikely to happen because, over the years, the EPA has, in effect, bought the loyalty of a cadre of scientists and advocacy organizations that will defend the agency’s precautionary approach and expansionist tendencies. For the foreseeable future, then, American companies and consumers — and our natural environment — will bear the scars of bureaucratic ambition, incompetence, and chicanery.

The EPA continues to believe that it is a health organization protecting the public from environmental causes of cancer, says ACSH’s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, “yet they never mention cigarette smoke, a well-known cause of cancer. Instead, they are uselessly looking for trace levels of chemicals to regulate like there’s no tomorrow.”

ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross analogizes the EPA these days to people who fear vaccines. “Decades ago, we had childhood scourges of communicable diseases. Now, the ravages of childhood contagion are thankfully rare, but parents have forgotten this and are afraid of vaccines because they have never experienced the ramifications of not having them. In its initial few years, the EPA did a good job of cleaning up the environment, reducing smog and other dangerous pollutants — with the exception of banning DDT, leading to the upsurge in deaths from malaria. Now there’s very little benefit left for EPA oversight, and so to justify their continued existence they must create problems that don’t exist since their mandate is to find chemical pollutants and to protect the environment. But the environment is doing just fine, thank you.”