Role of Government Intervention in Environmental Issues

Topics: Government, International trade, Developed country Pages: 9 (1633 words) Published: October 1, 1996
Paper #1: Role of Government Intervention in Environmental Issues

In environmental cases, a policy framework is sometimes more

effective when there is less government intervention. As the level of

government intervention diminishes, this allows more flexibility for

corporations to achieve efficiency. Furthermore the traditional command and

control approach has proven to be costly, bureaucratic and often inefficient.

It is important to address the fact that there are numerous benefits that

can be achieved for both policy makers and industries, if a policy framework

is based on market forces. However it is important that there is a need for

some government intervention, but should be as minimal as possible.

I have chosen to examine the article from the New York Times

entitled RU.S. Seeking Options of Pollution RulesS. Although pollution is

detrimental to our environment, you have to take into account that it is

almost impossible to entirely prevent pollution. This is scientifically

impossible and it would have severely negative economic impact on the

industries. So the core issue becomes the fact no matter what, there will

always be pollution, as long as these industries exist. So we should focus

on how we can minimize this and yet at the same time have an efficient market

system? Furthermore, we should also focus on how we can accomplish this so

that sustainable growth and development can take place. So there is

definitely a need for some form of government intervention to enforce and

monitor this. Reason being that there is always an element of equality that

has to be enforced, when dealing with cases such as this. For instance,

larger corporations may have an advantage over smaller corporation, since

they have stronger influence on politicians and lobbyists. So the

governmentUs role should be to ensure that all industries (regardless size

and/or power) have equal opportunities to benefit from this type of approach.

In another words, the government should simply be a RwatchdogS.

Government should monitor so that the distribution and transaction of the

permits are done in an appropriate manner.

The case of Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Corporation is a

classic example of tradable permit approach. Under this model corporations

are able to buy, sell and trade permits that legally allows emission. Many

economists have favored this approach because this also provides incentives

for technical improvement. So the aggregate effect would be that most

industries would try to maximize their profits by trying to come up with new

techniques to reduce the level of emission. This in turn would allow them to

reduce the cost that they would have to pay from polluting. Norm Miller also

endorses this approach by stating that Rperformance-based approaches are more

efficient, both for industry and for governmentS.

Allowing a company to devise and manage their own pollution control

plan is another effective (and Rde-regulativeS) approach. In the article,

this was exemplified in an Arizona based company called Intel. Individual

companies such as Intel knows what is best for the company. This means that

each individual companies know what the best equipment is and what the best

procedures are to achieve established standards. Rather than having the

government telling them what to do, the people at Intel were able to devise

their own plan. This saved them a great amount of time with out the usual

cumbersome, bureaucratic procedures. The Intel company, in this case, bought

the effluent from the cityUs waste water treatment plan. This allows

corporations to work more closely with the local communities. Usually, the

result is that both parties would benefit and even achieve a common goal.

There are, however, potential problems that may occur from this.

Although we can presume that market...
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