Pollution Trading: Cashing Out Our Clean Air and Water
The last 20 years of environmental protection have seen a steady shift away from many of the tried-and-true regulatory control approaches that force industries to implement increasingly more protective pollution abatement measures. We are witnessing a move toward market-driven off set programs that substitute trading for technology. With both air and water, industries are now being offered pay-to-pollute approaches that enable them to purchase pollution “credits” instead of working to reduce their harmful discharges. Of course, these market mechanisms come with a whole host of loopholes and liabilities.