Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pollution (or Emission) Permits

An article on CNN.com caught my eye, "Scientists: Smog Contributes to Premature Death." Many know that smog and Los Angeles go hand in hand. Rather unfortunate but we all deal with it and go on about our lives. A lot of the smog comes from pollution that is released in the air from large facilities. These facilities have a pollution permit that was issued to them by the government. The government determined the level of pollution that they deemed acceptable and then a permit was issued. These permits can be bought, sold, and traded. If a company decides they don't need their permit, they can sell it off to a company that wants to pollute more than the level the government set for them.

The problem of pollution is far from being solved. These tradable permits have not eliminated the problem but have instead given these companies a way to earn more money and create a business out of it. It has slightly helped the situation as companies try to reduce their pollution level to avoid having to purchase another permit. But critics are concerned about the companies that are selling their permits. If they don't need to pollute up to the amount that the government has restricted on them, then why are they given more than needed? It causes some areas of the world to become heavily polluted while others remain somewhat clean.

Other critics believe that imposing a pollution (or emission) tax could solve the problem. A tax might help the pollution level to decrease but the government could face difficulty in setting an absolute pollution limit.

The CNN article may be controversial, but smog and pollution are still bad for the environment. It's important to not forget the health of the world we live in.

No comments: