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Environmental and Resource Economics - Essay Example

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I. Institutional Approach The Coasian theorem applies to situations where the social costs and benefits of an undertaking is equal to the personal costs and benefits and will be borne or enjoyed by the concerned parties. In such ideal situations, a most effective way to implement pollution control is automatically put in place…
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Environmental and Resource Economics
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Environmental and Resource Economics

Download file to see previous pages... II. Command-and-Control Approach The Command-and-Control Approach to environmental protection has given rise to regulations that set limits on emissions and discharges from machineries, and on specific properties and makeup of equipment that may be manufactured, imported or utilized in the country. Under the same Approach, rules on audits and disclosure of information are also imposed. With the government giving due recognition to companies that abide by environmental protection laws, companies are driven to be compliant. Furthermore, companies are spared from the mandatory costs of non-compliance with the set standards and laws. For these reasons, the Command-and-Control Approach can work. (Khanna & Damon 1999) However, it has been pointed out that plain declaration of environmental laws is not enough. Non-compliance should be subject to strictly applied sanctions and penalties for such laws to be effective and for the Command-and-Control Approach to work. (Tietenberg & Lewis 2012) In the United States, the purpose for setting rules and regulations designed to protect the environment were initially declared by former President Richard Nixon on 1 January 1970 through the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA). As stated in the NEPA, the firm policy of the US Federal Government is to establish and maintain conditions that would allow man and nature to co-exist in harmony through the use of powers and resources that the Government has at hand. NEPA further states that this policy delivers the social, economic and other requirements of the American people, both present and future generations. (Wilson 2004) In the years that followed, more environmental standards and laws have been set and legislated. Thus, the Command-and Control Approach of the US Government has spawned the environmental protection system that stands to this day. Subsequently, the Congress instituted the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and the Comprehensive environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). (Wilson 2004) In spite of the many laws that have been made for environmental protection, critics have continually hounded the effectiveness and efficiency of such laws with endless questions. These laws contain the goals for which they have been set and critics have zeroed in on how the same goals have not been achieved through the implementation of the same laws. (Wilson 2004) Hence, the limitation of the Command-and-Control Approach is highlighted. Nationally promulgated and applied laws, no matter how good, can never successfully secure environmental protection. After all, the efforts of one specific country cannot combat the harm inflicted by the other countries across the globe. While we all attempt to save our planet, the Command-and-Control Approach used by governments can mostly cover only their specific territories. The bid of the United States to totally eliminate all production and use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other chemicals harmful to the ozone layer can be cited as an example. Even with US exercising political will, the ozone layer will continually thin out for as long as there are other countries that get on with their generation and use of CFCs. Due to the extreme damage that CFCs can cause the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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