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http://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/trading/basics/ talks about some aspects of regulation where the regulation itself creates a market. The theory is: if the government's goal is to reduce pollution, and industry/business is pretty much expert at trading off the various tradeoffs they have to make, then why not regulate into a market? ...

As the EPA website presents it, this looks good to me. I think what I had a problem with was Dubya's "Clear Skies Act", which although that was an emissions trading program, too, his version was that he would allow total pollution to increase based on the growth of GDP. He didn't even want to attempt to lower emissions at all. If the proposed CSA addressed reduction in this trading program, then I'd go for it.

There was one problem brought up, though, but I can't remember the article or link. This kind of trading program (according to the article) doesn't work well on ALL pollutants. The mercury from coal-fired plants doesn't disperse regionally or nationally like sulfur-dioxide does with acid rain. Mercury emissions deposit VERY locally, like within 15 miles of the source. So a site could still be kept totally "dirty" as long as it doesn't affect the operator's trading credits and/or profitability. I think the problem was that a program like that had the potential of unintentionally theoretically causing some sites to be get even dirtier yet, or allowing a dangerous site to "stay" in a dangerous state. I'm not nit-picking or claiming this is 100% true, I'm just regurgitating what I think the article stated.

The next big problem of a trading program is, of course, how much reduction is enough (or too much) for each industry? But seeing how the Acid Rain Program worked, it appears they might have solved that issue.

Thanks!



Duck
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