Stop Free Pollution: Going Beyond Cap-and-Trade

Cross-posted on the Triple Crisis blog

Some of the best things in life are free. Unfortunately, so are some of the worst.

When polluters dump poisons into our air and water, they do it for free. This means they have no incentive to curb emissions. It also means that our air and water effectively belong to them, not to those who breathe the air and drink the water.

Regulation

Environmental regulations limit what polluters can lawfully discharge into our air and water. The damage control they provide is of great value. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that from 1970 to 1990 alone the Clean Air Act saved more than three million lives. Critics can argue about whether the regulations should be tighter or lighter, but no sensible person would advocate jettisoning them altogether. Continue reading…