4/12/2007

Supreme Court Ruling

As of this month, the Supreme Court has found that the EPA has shirked its responsibility to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles. The article “Court Turns Up the Heat on Global Warming” states that the Supreme Court has ruled carbon dioxide a pollutant, and as a pollutant, it falls under regulation by the Clean Air Act of 1970. Environmental groups view it as “a crucial step in the path to federal carbon emissions legislation”. It is obvious that consumers that drive vehicles are not paying the full cost of their action, and they are putting a negative externality on society. I argue that this ruling by the Supreme Court could be a step in the right direction.

4 comments:

Hunter said...

I have mixed emotions regarding this post. Initially it makes me cringe because though I feel that I am a fairly "green" person, I don't like that my car's power may be restricted because it emits too many pollutants. If I were that concerned about polluting, I would buy a more environmentally friendly car. Also, if car pollution truly does create so many negative externalities for us all, why has it taken so long for the government and the EPA to realize it? It seems to me that this issue is not terribly serious or we would be trying harder to resolve it. The governments lack of interest, for me, creates a very negative externality because their wishy-washy nature makes me tense. On the other hand, I have always felt that if we could come up with an alternative fuel source I would be more than happy to sell, trade, or scrap my car for a nonpolluting one.

Sebastian said...

As more and more vehicles are on the road, it is probably a good thing to rule carbon dioxide a pollutant and try to limit these emissions from vehicles if it is harmful to society. However, there are two sides to the global warming issue and it has not been finalized as to which side is right. Exactly how harmful are the carbon dioxide emissions? Is global warming being caused from this type of pollution, or is the warming coming from the Earth's cycles? Obviously, we did not have vehicles, or roads for that matter, during the ice ages and when it all melted. What caused the warming then?

Eric said...

I agree with you Sebastian, I would go even as far to say that green house gases don’t effect global warming much at all. Besides from global warming green house gases create smog and acid rain. I think this is a little push in the right direction?

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Eric for a spelling error.

I think this is inane. Carbon dioxide is a byproduct of all organic respiration. I'm not against cleaner cars or less pollution, but this is the same thing that comes out of us when we breathe.

Focusing on carbon dioxide from cars isn't really that much different from localities that place special taxes on large employers because they have a beef with Wal-Mart.

If we were truthful, and put a tax on carbon emissions, and included within that a tax on exhaling to be paid by everyone ... this idea would disappear quickly.