American’s have had the right to breathe clean air ever since the Clear Air Act was passed in 1970. However, there is a new up and coming act that may jeopardize this right, the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act.
If passed, the TRAIN act would require the EPA to consider the economic impacts of the polluters when setting the standards for air pollution. This act, therefore, can threaten the effectiveness of the Clean Air Act because previously, the standards for pollution only took into account medical and scientific considerations.
However, there are two interesting arguments for and against the TRAIN Act. First, some say that the American public deserve a economic analysis of the EPAs actions regarding clean air because it effects jobs and big industry. However, the opposing side argues that sometimes the cost is irrelevant when it comes to the health of the American people because the law in its present state is expected to prevent sickness and death in the future.
This relates to the class because Obama’s Executive Order 13,563 seeks to promote “public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth …” This article is right smack in the middle of these competing issues (public health and economics). How can the EPA consider any economic effect when they know that decreasing the standards for clean air could potentially harm thousands of people or more?