Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Clear Skies Underrated

The Volokh Conspiracy has a nice piece on Bush's Clear Skies iniative. TVC explains the proposal simply:

The basic idea behind 'Clear Skies' is to replace existing command-and-control regulation of utility emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide with a 'cap and trade' program covering these two pollutants and mercury emissions. Basically, the legislation would set 'caps' on the total amount of emissions that power plants could emit, and portions of the caps would be divvied out as tradable permits to power plants. The idea is that this would encourage more cost-effective emission reductions and facilitate greater overall emission reductions than can be achieved under existing law through the administrative process.

Interesting enough is that the main-stream media spin is that it is a rollback of current regulations on population. They ignore the fact that this is the most efficient way to reduce pollution. It has already been effectively used on a limited basis in the Clean Air Act and will soon be implemented with the Kyoto Accords. Any economist worth his salt will recommend this kind of environmental policy as it is the most efficient way to reduce pollution levels.

The opposition to this proposal appears to come from an automatic disdain for anything that Bush supports and from this advisorial relationship that many environmental activist seem to love having with him. Isn't it possible that sound environmental policy doesn't have to be prohibitively costly to business and therefore also to the overall economy?

And they say that the Bush Administration ignores science...

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