Here are the highlights of an article I just came across:
The "value of a statistical life" is $6.9 million in today's dollars, the Environmental Protection Agency reckoned in May — a drop of nearly $1 million from just five years ago.
When drawing up regulations, government agencies put a value on human life and then weigh the costs versus the lifesaving benefits of a proposed rule. The less a life is worth to the government, the less the need for a regulation, such as tighter restrictions on pollution.
Consider, for example, a hypothetical regulation that costs $18 billion to enforce but will prevent 2,500 deaths. At $7.8 million per person (the old figure), the lifesaving benefits outweigh the costs. But at $6.9 million per person, the rule costs more than the lives it saves, so it may not be adopted.
Some environmentalists accuse the Bush administration of changing the value to avoid tougher rules — a charge the EPA denies.
Dan Esty, a senior EPA policy official in the first Bush administration and now director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, said that "it's hard to imagine that it has other than a political motivation."
The full article is here.
What the hell is going on? What the hell do they think they are doing? Crap, the FDA can't do anything to help us, and now the EPA is tossing us to the garbage heap. I'm stunned.