Pollution has been one of the big problems of our world. This has pushed many people who are concern enough to create programs that will help reduce the problem and this Smog Merchants article is technically, one of those. But I don’t think marketing the right to pollute will help in any way. It is more like allowing destruction to come to the environment. In this article, it was implied that firms that are able to reduce pollutants below the levels to which it is entitled receives credits, and they can sell these credits to other firms.
The thing is that, first, why will you sell pollution rights when the name itself states that you’re giving someone the capability to pollute noted that the problem you are solving is pollution itself. Second, a company who cannot reach the goal tends to buy these credits rather than improving their facility and emissions reductions because it is way cheaper. So how can this help when the only thing it can visibly do is to create firms that are dependent to the credits of other firms that are successful in cutting pollutants in the lowest cost.
It has been said that the environment is a free resource, and air is no doubt a part of it. In number two question, it is being asked “who implicitly has property rights to the air when the EPA auctions SO2 permits” My answer to this would be: everyone, and no, I did not depend on who gets the revenue raised by the auction. Everyone has his right to consume air or use air or whatever you would like to do with air. It is part of the environment and thus, a free resource. The EPA auctions or the allowances aim to reduce the emissions of sulphur dioxide.
And firms are allowed to buy and sell these allowances to other firms when left unused. I believe that this doesn’t affect the people’s rights to the air. The environment is a priceless resource. Since then, people have been witnesses of the priceless generosity of the environment. We have been able to survive till this year and generation because of the environment. Why? Well this is where we get our resources starting from foods to clothes to shelters. Only did the presence of companies made us pay for this priceless resource. For me, we do need to give up everything to protect the nvironment if and only if it is necessary and if it follows a certain action plan. I mean, we cannot just give up anything unless we’re sure it will be for a good cost. People need the environment so much most especially for the continuous production of food. Nowadays, we are strongly aware that the rate of population has increased and is still increasing. Without the environment, it would be hard for the people to preserve the remaining resources, to sustain lives, and to continue successful generations. This also justifies why the environmental quality has an infinite value.
In number four question: Don’t such regulations amount to giving away environmental quality at no charge? Yes. Basically because allowing firms and individuals to pollute the environment is the same as giving away environmental quality. To justify this, let me give an example. Let’s say you have a piece of candy and it is your favourite. You never let anyone touch it because it might get germs or whatever. But since you pity your friends too much, you let them taste it for a certain amount of money. You wanted to keep it clean, but letting your friends have it for a taste ruined it.
My point is that, if the regulations will allow firms to pollute up to that point at no charge, it would add up in destroying the environment and its quality at no charge as well. To solve this, I think it would be better to charge a price via emissions taxes. At least this can reduce firms or individuals who try to emit pollutants at a very high rate if get monitored well. If this practice continues from this generation to the next, it would probably reduce the amount of pollution since pollutants will be less emitted and polluters will gradually increase their emissions reductions.