Friday, October 8, 2010

Regulatory Malpractice

Stories like this one, which indicates that California's "landmark" diesel control law was based on a 340 percent overestimate of pollution levels by the state's Air Resources Board, makes one wonder what other costly regulations are premised on false -- or even falsified -- government data.

The government is conveniently immune from the sorts of malpractice claims that can be brought against private individuals and entities, meaning it can walk away from such costly debacles embarrassed (perhaps) but unscathed. And that's an injustice that needs addressing. It's time to change the rules so that injured parties and average citizens can hold the government liable in such cases of regulatory malpractice. That might help make the reflex-regulators a lot more careful about getting the science right before they begin recklessly imposing new rules.

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