This is one of the stupidest ideas I’ve ever heard of that’s so widely accepted. Companies can pollute if they buy credits from companies that don’t. That ranks right up there with people can commit murder if they buy murder credits from people that don’t. This cap and trade system will give companies an incentive not to pollute by making it more expensive to pollute by charging companies that pollute over their allotted pollution index and rewarding companies that emits pollutions under their allotted pollution index.
When we as a society decided that cars emit too much pollution a cap was placed on every vehicle sold. In the area I live cars have to be inspected and have their emissions tested each year to assure that they aren’t producing more pollution than they should. A car that emitted too much pollution was taken off the street. People don’t have the option of buying more permission to pollute from the next guy. There is a zero tolerance for such pollution. Can’t afford to have the car repaired so that it doesn’t pollute as much? Then you had better park that polluter until you can. Call a cab, ride a bus, get a bike, or walk. But your polluter isn’t welcomed on the street. If we can take a zero tolerance approach to the individual why can’t we take the same approach to pollution?
The ability to pollute shouldn’t be traded on an exchange like it’s a commodity. All pollution is a problem. We should be trying to get all pollution to the lowest point possible. But because big business polluters have the financial pockets deep enough to buy the political clout or the marketing savvy to make zero pollution an unattractive option to an asthmatic.
In America, our manufacturers who are forced to pay a decent wage and adhere to environmental, social, and other laws of behavior can’t compete with companies in other countries that are free to pollute and free to pay their employees a little of nothing and work them to death doing it. Why do we open our markets to these companies and countries that pollute and practice little social responsibility? In essence, why do we allow polluters to sale their tainted wares here in America? We reward companies that are fortunate to exist in areas where the government doesn’t care about the environment or human rights. And then force our companies to compete with them. How in the world does this make sense?
Manufacturing jobs and industries are disappearing every single day. These companies lament the fact that they are at a cost disadvantage with their foreign peers. Many companies have forsaken the production of their products here in favor of having them produced overseas. And we continue to support and reward this behavior.
Zero tolerance is not a foreign concept to Americans. Law enforcement will be more than happy to come down like the hand of god when certain individuals make the choice to break the law. No one has much tolerance for anyone who makes the choice to bend the rules.
When we as a country have the collective will to set a goal or a standard we usually rise to the challenge. This is the country that put a man on the moon in ten years when computer technology was based on vacuum tubes and had the storage capacity of about 2K. When we want to accomplish something we don’t make excuses. When we want to go to war, a trillion dollars and thousands of young American lives won’t keep us from doing what we want to do. We should treat pollution the same way.
A line in the sand should be drawn and everybody who wants to do business here in the Untied States will be given the time to meet that standard and make the necessary investment. Companies that need to make the investment will have the ultimate incentive. Companies that have made the investment and are already meeting the standard will be rewarded by not having to make the investment in the future. Companies that make the choice to close up shop and move overseas are free to do so. But they shouldn’t be rewarded for abandoning the pollution standard by allowing their tainted products to come to our markets.
It is inevitable that such a no nonsense policy would result in more expensive products. The cost of doing business will rise. We need to ask ourselves how much is too much when we talk about the protection of the environment. When we have polluted to a point when we have severely impacted the planet’s ability to sustain life, how much would it be worth then? However, there is no cap for a financial impact when we talk about trading away our ability to survive.