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[OT] Pollution permits (was: Re: [VAC] June 9 - August 30 [UPDATE])

On Mon, Jul 07, 2003 at 01:47:41AM -0400, Jimmy Kaplowitz wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 01, 2003 at 01:09:22PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > What you describe has already happened.  The "right" to pollute the air
> > that people breathe is already bought and sold like a commodity in the
> > U.S.
> > 
> > http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/stories/2003/04/21/story8.html
> We actually discussed this (pollution permits in general, not the
> article to which you refer) in the introductory economics class I'm
> taking now. Basically, that allows the government to cause a reduction
> in pollution relative to pre-permit levels at the least economic cost
> possible, using free-market principles to allocate the permits
> efficiently. In other words, those people who can reduce pollution
> cheaply will sell the permits to those who have a harder time reducing
> pollution, using the profits to offset the cost to their business of
> reducing pollution. If the total amount of pollution allowed by all the
> permits is less than the pollution before, this will be an environmental
> gain at minimal cost. If they built in some way for the allowed
> quantities to be adjusted (e.g., variable-value or finite-duration
> permits), they can do further reductions using the same
> free-market-based system.

This is not just in the U.S.; a policy such as this one was defined in
the Kyoto protocol, which defines a maximum allowed pollution level per
country, the right for countries to sell and buy permits just as
companies inside one country can, and other things (I'm not too involved
in that).

A lot of countries have signed this protocol, except for the U.S., with
the argument that the permitted quota's were too low, which would be
'bad for business', and 'not the american way'. As a result,
organizations such as Greenpeace are now not really friendly towards
President Bush anymore... I've got a Greenpeace poster here somewhere
that says 'Wanted: President Bush -- for environmental crimes'

Anyway, this is way off-topic here. Please send replies, if any, to me
personally, don't send them to the list. Thanks.

Wouter Verhelst
Debian GNU/Linux -- http://www.debian.org
Nederlandstalige Linux-documentatie -- http://nl.linux.org
"An expert can usually spot the difference between a fake charge and a
full one, but there are plenty of dead experts." 
  -- National Geographic Channel, in a documentary about large African beasts.

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