by Andrew deLaski, via ACEEE
A new report published last week by the anti-regulatory Mercatus Center (an advocacy outfit associated with the Koch brothers) took aim at appliance and vehicle efficiency standards. In the report, the authors argue that standards reduce consumer choice and are not justified because the environmental benefits are small and consumer benefits are non-existent.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Efficiency standards have a long record as a commonsense way to save money for consumers and provide important societal benefits at the same time. The Mercatus report, entitled Overriding Consumer Preferences with Energy Regulations, is by two economists, Ted Gayer and Kip Viscusi. It’s so full of false claims, inaccurate assumptions, and misleading statements that it’s hard to know where to start refuting them. But I thought it would be useful to rebut some of their most egregious claims.
False claim #1: “[C]urrent energy efficiency initiatives do very little to address climate change”
Taking into account all U.S. appliance standards starting with the original round signed into law by Ronald Reagan and including those updated by the Department of Energy (DOE) under two Republican and two Democratic administrations and those added by ...