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Cause and effect: Fuel standard puts environmentalists in a bind

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: June 5, 2013

Yet environmentalists continue to tout Carson's conclusions, just as they warn of the threat of alleged man-made global warming, even though there's been little change in global temperatures as greenhouse gas emissions increased over the past decade-plus. The impact of the resulting environmental policies on average citizens isn't insubstantial. The fuel mandate is diverting corn to ethanol production, which reduces food sup-plies and drives up costs. Most existing vehicles can't run on E-15 fuel; E-15 is corrosive, increasing the likelihood that underground storage tanks will leak and contaminate water supplies. Anti-pesticide hysteria led to a ban on DDT that fueled a global increase in malaria and associated deaths.

Government has a role in addressing serious, credible public safety threats, but those regulations should be based on hard science, not trendy political causes and speculative dogma. It's amusing that environmentalists must now pick their poison — if they want to address climate change with ethanol fuel mandates, they're effectively endorsing use of the pesticide that they believe causes cancer.

But there's nothing funny about the real-world impact of those policies — higher costs, increased global sickness and a reduced quality of life — for other citizens who get little benefit in return.

When politicians try to mandate consumer changes without concern for science or market realities, even a phony solution to a speculative problem can have negative real-world consequences.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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