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What’s at stake as GOP moves to slash regulations? For starters, clean air

Air pollution over Los Angeles. Credit

The linchpin of a new 87-page proposal being considered by Congress is a directive to regulators that may be impossible to meet, reports the LA Times.  Regulatory agencies would have to prove they have taken the least costly option possible to business before imposing any major new rule. A similar mandate became stifling when applied for decades to the regulation of chemicals such as asbestos because it allowed companies to keep rules at bay by continually arguing for cheaper approaches. “I don’t think lawmakers are focusing on how extreme this legislation is,” said Paul Billings, lobbyist for the American Lung Association, which has joined several major public health groups imploring congressional leaders to apply the brakes. “It has been viewed as this abstraction that creates improvements in the regulatory process. This would undermine bedrock public health laws.”

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