Environmental Defense Fund
The Cap and Trade Success Story
Cap and trade was designed, tested and proven here in the United States, as a program within the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. The success of this program led The Economist magazine to crown it "probably the greatest green success story of the past decade." (July 6, 2002).
Despite the foot-dragging objections, of the "find it, mine it, and burn it" crowd, putting a Price on Acid Rain -- DID NOT Put them Out of Business. Rather it made the early-adopter, "socially responsible" Power Providers, a LOT of Money.
And it made the insidious problem of Acid Rain, virtually evaporate, in less than a Decade.
In a nutshell, Profits and a Clean Environment are NOT necessarily incompatible -- long as all players have the same incentives to innovate.
EPA Acid Rain Program Results (Pdf)
Despite the whiny objections, of the "drill it, and spill it" crowd, putting a Price on Carbon -- will NOT put them Out of Business.
If History is any guide it will be a boon to their bottom lines, and a boost to Society's overall health and well-being:
EPA: Acid Rain Program Benefits Exceed Expectations
A new analysis of the Acid Rain Program, established by Title IV of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, estimates annual benefits of the program in 2010 at $122 billion and costs for that year at $3 billion (2000$) -- a 40-to-1 benefit/cost ratio.
EPA Cost Benefits (Pdf)
There is an unrealized VALUE in having a Clean Livable World -- and putting a Price on Pollution, is the most straight forward way to achieve one.
It's Pure Economics.
You can only truly find the Value of something -- like Clean Air, like a Healthy Society, like a thriving shrimp industry -- when you put a Price on it ... when you put some "economic brakes" on those "speed racers" that, always say "it's not my problem", "it's not economical feasible, in this competitive environment",
"If I paid for the safeguards that a Healthy Society needs, I'd go out of Business!"
Well not really.
NOT if the story of "How we Stopped Acid Rain", is any guide!
It's call being Socially Responsible.
It's called NOT being an Economic Mooch!
It's called using True Cost accounting.
It's called Factoring in those intangible "External Costs", that otherwise never manage to end up in anyone's books -- until it's far, far, too LATE!
as experience is ONCE again showing ...