It's interesting to me that there was so much resistance from both sides, the businesses and the environmentalists, considering when the bill finally took effect it benefited them both tremendously. The article said in 1995 when the cap finally took place acid rainfall decreased by 3 million tons. That's huge returns for a pretty reasonable price of $250 a ton of pollution. Also, the total net gains from the bill were massive. The article said benefits totaled around $122 billion a year and cost were only about $3 billion. Seems like it paid off to me.
Undoubtedly a great idea! It seems that the problem is a lack of education. If the majority of the population would take the time to look at the "numbers", solving big problems would be a lot easier. Most likely the vast majority of the population has no idea how cap and trade works, and until this class I didn't truly understand "why" it works. I hate to make the discussion political....but if we only had term limits in congress politicians could stop worrying about getting re-elected and start passing legislation based on facts and data. The political wrangling is frustrating and counter-productive.
I think that this is a great example of the fact that for either party, those focused on helping the environment and those polluting to the greatest degree, to get anything accomplished they will need to work within the system. Many people say lets just shut down the greatest polluters, when in reality that isn't going to happen as quickly as we would like, if at all. Most major polluters are businesses and what businesses care about is money, therefore we need to approach the environmental movement with more business oriented techniques that make it more cost effective to be green.
What really bothers me is the on going fighting between political parties which is basically an effort to hamper any possiblity of our country moving forward to a greener future. As we discussed in class and seen in the article, Republicans were the first ones to establish cap-and-trade under G.H.W. Bush and were all for it because it made them look environmentally friendly while establishing a source of economic profit. Once the democrats start to like the idea, the republicans immediately denounce it and say it cannot possibly work. How can we as american people ever expect our country to take the initiative towards reducing our emissions if the people who establish and implement the legislation for these types of action are acting like a bunch of babies.
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