[SIZE="4"][COLOR="DarkGreen"][B]EPA says the value of an American life has decreased.[/B][/COLOR][/SIZE]
In May, the Environmental Protection Agency lowered its “value of a statistical life” measure to $6.9 million in today’s dollars, which is “a drop of nearly $1 million from just five years ago.” In other words, in the eyes of the EPA, the value of a human life has decreased. Here’s what the change means:
[I][INDENT]Though it may seem like a harmless bureaucratic recalculation, the devaluation has real consequences.
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. [B]The less a life is worth to the government, the less the need for a regulation, such as tighter restrictions on pollution[/B].[/INDENT][/I]
Critics say that [B]the Bush administration is “[URL="http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/V/VALUE_OF_LIFE?SITE=WYCHE&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT"]changing the value to avoid tougher rules[/URL].”[/B] “It’s hard to imagine that it has other than a political motivation,” said former senior EPA official Dan Esty.