Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Final Policy Readings

Here are the last four papers for the semester. Please have them read by tuesday.

Pollution Policy Papers

12 comments:

Drew Moxon said...
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Drew Moxon said...

These articles all seem to say similar points about the need to address climate change and the need for an economic policy to deal with it. What they don't seem to deal with, however, is the political how-to in order to pass such a policy. In order to create such a policy, you'd need a more concrete scientific idea of what level of emissions we need to obtain and what price should be charged for them. Considering that the EPA still hasn't done a proper study on all the industrial chemicals listed under CERCLA (which was enacted in 1980), it's had to fathom a way to get the information needed anytime soon. In addition, Washington has shown that significantly lowering taxes such as income and corporate taxes is a rare thing and in some cases, political suicide. We already have candidates for the presidency endorcing *higher* corporate taxes and the general public is eating it up. There needs to be a political and public policy plan for how to fix these tax imbalances and explain it to both Congress and the public in a way so that they'll support it and won't cry foul of "lowering taxes on big evil business." My hat's off to the person who can come up with that kind of a plan.

mgraham said...

It takes one state to act as a leader in climate control policy and the others will follow. This is what California is doing, now a hand full of states are following their foot steps, each one adjusting it to their indidvidual situation. Globally each country is doing the same, each using the kind of biofuel indiginous to each one of their country's. But one thing is for sure, to have an efficient global climat control policy it will have to address each country according to their availability of resources and their efficient use. The mature way of dealing with this is leading by example and not by complaints...If that country doesn't do it why should we...This has been the U.S. policy in this administration..It sounds like a 5 year old child..I believe it is time for the U.S. to grow up and address this matter as a mature society through example! and we can do it!

Anonymous said...

These articles are all dealing with the question of the political role in reducing emissions. The first points out that some feel the US has an obligation to reduce its emissions and save the rest of the world. NOT gonna happen. I believe the US will work diligently with the rest of the world to control emissions but we have to have a global consensus on what needs to be done. Can we have a round of applause for California!? They again seem to be the leader among states in the Union in our fight against global warming. However, at the end of the paper they suggest that cap and trade should be used to lower emissions. I disagree wholeheartedly. I believe, like Kahn, that the tax system should be used because the price is set and emissions will be reduced. With a cap and trade, only the price will fluctuate, not emissions. I also agree with the second paper that we must not wait idly while the warming continues. And the US can not do it all. As for your article, I do believe that we need a higher gas tax (though I don't want that b/c I drive a gas guzzling pick-up). But what if people do react and drive less, won't that have a potential effect of lowering GDP. In other words, won't people become less productive if they drive less? I see no answer in the near future except simply reducing driving, but we must remember there are always consequences to our decisions.

Andrew gibbs

Katie Rosengren said...

In reference to the reading on California's new climate policy, individual state policies may be helpful in the short run but eventually a national policy will need to be initiated. While CA's initiatives will be positive in the sense of providing leadership to other states to take action against climate change and emissions, there are a few problems with this cap-and-trade policy at the state level.As it was mentioned there are problems with leakage and linkage, and one issue that was touched lightly on but is fairly substantial is that firms may just leave the state rather than abide by the new policies. This has happened previously in other states and industries, for example a few years ago Maine initiated new legislation on Insurance companies to help provide more affordable rates...but it backfired b/c most of the companies just left the state and the ones that remained raised their rates since there was little competition.If firms decide that they would be better off leaving CA than reducing their emissions then the same amount of emissions will still be occurring just in a different location. State policies would be beneficial to get the ball rolling but eventually some sort of national policy will be needed in order to accurately control emissions.

Anonymous said...

hey everybody, thought you might find this interesting...
http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/109768980ddf452e8525742c005dd608!OpenDocument

hope it works! it's from April 15
-rachel bisesi

Brett Cottrell said...

I want so badly to agree with Stiglitz paper especially, but I am having a hard time with the possibility of his tax approach being almost regressive. Sure, I agree that taxation is a good idea, so as to make climate policy an economic issue, which would clearly cause people to act. However, imposing taxes equally across both developed and developing nations needs a bit more thought involved that to simply say that it is fair. A $10 tax, for example, is a lot more to someone who makes $100 as compared to someone who makes $1000. This flat tax would seemingly keep the poor, poor. I think that maybe a little more thought into the impact of developing nations in comparison to the past and future impact of already developed nations is needed. There have been predictions of some 50% of future emissions coming from developing nations, but how does that compare to the emissions of past nations? Should we punish the developing nations for what they have not yet done? I'm not claiming to know the answer, but I would like to see a bit more consideration for the true impact on developing nations.

chris mobley said...

economic policy would be the best way to deal with this problem of climate change. It seems like every country is using their own methods for alternative fuels which are indigenous to their land. The problem with creating a policy to address this problem starts in washington, and one of the first steps is figuring a way to impose it at a corporate level and then work its way down through the ranks of society.

Logan Clark said...

It will be interesting to see how this cap and trade policy will be adopted in California and how it will be distributed. It seems as though it should work somewhat better than a carbon tax system. It could either hurt or help our country in terms of our movement towards a nationwide policy, depending on whether it is successful or not...

Anonymous said...

After reading Jeffery F. Fischer's letter to the editor, I think it's important to note he is with the Federal Trade Commission in Washington DC... I guess it makes a little more sense after reading that nonsense.

-Eric Spence

Anonymous said...

I think all countries should be included in an emissions taxation agreement, so everyone's contribution is accounted for. Of course countries that are still developing would take the hit a lot harder and should therefore be accomodated with a lower percentage tax. Maybe this would appease the US by still including everyone. Though I think the US used the exclusion of developing countries as an excuse to not deal with the problem. Bush says that he wants the US to follow its own protocol to lower emissions. He even went as far as to hold an international conference in DC where he gave absolutely no detail as to how he planned to make anything happen. Maybe our next administration will be more willing to enter into an international agreement?

Carol Anne Watts

Nick Lemire said...

I think it is so interesting how you might think that reducing the climate change is the best idea yet there are so many social and economic problems to be addressed that making a carbon tax may only hurt our impoverished population. I understand how each expert in their own field is going to have a different opinion on what to do, so I purpose we need new experts on this subject and run tests to see what is the best possible solution.