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Do Carbon Emissions Credits really help reduce pollution?

Whether it is called "emissions trading", carbon credits, or cap and trade, the practice amounts to buying and selling the right to pollute. It is an administrative solution to pollution and doesn't, in the final analysis, prevent pollution at all.

Whether it is called "emissions trading", carbon credits, or cap and trade, the practice amounts to buying and selling the right to pollute. It is an administrative solution to pollution and doesn't, in the final analysis, prevent pollution at all.


Before the reader jumps to the conclusion that I am a pro-business, pro-polluter, I would like to present my credentials. I have been taking an engineering approach to pollution control for forty years. I have designed and built both air and water control systems that have successfully reduced water usage by 75%, air pollution by 99.99%. I was invited by the Global Environmental & Technology Foundation and the USEPA to participate in a seminar in 2002 that was entitled "Real World Experiences with Environmental Systems to Shape Policy and Operational Decisions." I have also served on the Indiana Governor's Clean Manufacturing Technology and Safe Materials Committee.


My clients have won every single environmental award for which they were eligible; including a couple that we didn't know existed. The point here is not self-aggrandizement but to establish that I am one of those people dedicated to solving pollution problems not just complaining about them.

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Whether it is called "emissions trading", carbon credits, or cap and trade, the practice amounts to buying and selling the right to pollute. It is an administrative solution to pollution and doesn't, in the final analysis, prevent pollution at all.


Before the reader jumps to the conclusion that I am a pro-business, pro-polluter, I would like to present my credentials. I have been taking an engineering approach to pollution control for forty years. I have designed and built both air and water control systems that have successfully reduced water usage by 75%, air pollution by 99.99%. I was invited by the Global Environmental & Technology Foundation and the USEPA to participate in a seminar in 2002 that was entitled "Real World Experiences with Environmental Systems to Shape Policy and Operational Decisions." I have also served on the Indiana Governor's Clean Manufacturing Technology and Safe Materials Committee.


My clients have won every single environmental award for which they were eligible; including a couple that we didn't know existed. The point here is not self-aggrandizement but to establish that I am one of those people dedicated to solving pollution problems not just complaining about them.

As far as emissions trading is concerned, what does it accomplish? In a word, nothing. It is like having the neighbor justify driving a big gas guzzling SUV, because he can afford to pay the fellow down the street who drives an Escort. The net result is no savings in actual gasoline usage. It is simply administrative sleight-of-hand.


The plan itself, administered by government bureaucrats, set a limit or a cap on how much pollution can be emitted. Note: this does nothing to reduce air pollution. The agency the issues limits for a variety of real or potential polluters that sets limits on the allowable individual pollution they may emit. Again this does not reduce pollution.


Some of these companies, for a variety of reasons, will not emit their allowable pollutants. Other companies, who for whatever reason emit pollutants in excess of what they are allowed, can simply write a check to the company who pollutes less and thus buy their excess emission allowance. Again this does not reduce pollution.


None of this accomplished the basic goal of the Kyoto Protocol, or any other international agreement, which is to reduce overall pollution.


There are, of course, people on every side of this issue. There are those who point out the hypocrisy inherent in this approach, there are others who have pointed out the rampant abuse of the system, there are also the questionable endorsement of politicians with their own agendas, like Al Gore, who in my opinion doesn't have a clue.


Carbon emissions trading currently make up the bulk of emissions trading. It works to satisfy the Kyoto Protocol and thus theoretically mitigating global warming. Carbon trading has increased in recent years, for example, the trading in 2005 was 241% higher than in 2004, which was already 41% higher than 2003. Again this does not reduce pollution.


One other item, regulatory agencies (remember, "I'm from the government, I'm here to help you.") are not generally know for their flawless enforcement of the regulation for which they are responsible. The agencies run the risk of issuing too many credits, diluting the effectiveness of those same regulations, and possibly inadvertently removing the cap completely.


Source: http://www.thjournal.com/ca...

MAY 1 2007
http://www.windaction.org/posts/8999-do-carbon-emissions-credits-really-help-reduce-pollution
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