Clearing the Air: Debating the Impact of Anti-Pollution Efforts on Public Health, the Economy, and the Environment

Washington, DC
06 June 2012
Hosted By: the National Journal

NERA Senior Vice President Dr. Anne E. Smith was invited to serve as an expert panelist at a National Journal policy summit held in Washington, DC on 6 June 2012. Emissions from vehicles and power plants have had far-reaching public health and environmental impacts, and American energy consumption continues to rise. To address the growing challenges presented by air pollution, the Obama Administration has put forth policies seeking to reduce emissions from power plants as well as to cut oil use by improving fuel efficiency in vehicles. Yet critics of the new standards argue that they will have a damaging economic effect, costing billions of dollars in retrofits and resulting in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs. Clearly, the future of initiatives to reduce air pollution will hinge on whether the benefits derived from new standards can be shown to outweigh their costs. This event explored the debate surrounding clean air standards and their broader impact on the nation's public health, the environment, and the economy. Other featured speakers included Rep. Henry Waxman, Ranking Member, House Committee on Energy and Commerce; Dr. Georges Benjamin, Executive Director, American Public Health Association; Coral Davenport, Energy and Environment Correspondent, National Journal; Adam Kushner, Partner, Environment Group, Hogan Lovells LLP; Dr. Peter LaPuma, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental & Occupational Health, George Washington University; Bill Tyndall, Senior Vice President, Federal Government and Regulatory Affairs, Duke Energy; and John Walke, Clean Air Director, Natural Resources Defense Council.

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