Air pollution has long been one of the most significant negative impacts of industrial society. Smoggy cities lead to increased asthma rates and carbon emissions currently threaten the global environment. Under the Clean Air Act, and its various amendments, the Environmental Protection Agency is empowered to regulate American industry to minimize or eliminate the dangers posed by airborne contaminants. In 1990, Congress set up a cap-and-trade program to deal with emissions that caused acid rain and ozone depletion. It is a striking success.
Cry Wolf Quotes
Unfortunately, the atmosphere we’re now in prohibits objective scientists from coming forward. And why should they, when they would be crucified by the press, the E.P.A. and the environmentalists? . . . Our stance has been that lead from gasoline does not and has not caused health problems, and I have not seen any data that convinces me differently.
The present state of knowledge on the causes and effects of acid rain is, at best, ambiguous… There is time for science to guide the public policy debate.
This program is not effective in reducing greenhouse gases and is unlikely to be in the future. The whole system is not working as it was intended to work. It’s a failure.
Because of our guilt—and because of the media’s espousement (sic) of the movement—laws were passed which asked industry and the American consumer for the impossible. The members [of Congress] admitted they did not know what could actually be done to clean up our environment, how long it would take or how much it would cost. But they went ahead anyway in the spirit of political expediency to ramrod through measures that would affect millions of people and billions of dollars…
Related Laws and Rules
EPA: “Benefits and Costs of the Clean Air Act: Second Prospective Study—1990-2020”
Clean Air Act benefits total more than $2 trillion.
Industry Opposition to Government Regulation
The real costs of specific regulations, in chart form.
The Going-Out-Of-Business Myth
OMB Watch debunks the cry wolf claims made against specific regulations, in chart form.
Jobs vs. The Environment: An Industry-Level Study
Four industries that operate under intense environmental regulatory scrutiny, but haven't lost jobs as a result.
Benefits and Costs of the Clean Air Act - 1990 to 2010
The monetizable benefits of the Clean Air Act are four times greater than the costs.
Backgrounders & Briefs
Demos looks at ten laws and rules that we take for granted.
This immense article is an intricately detailed history of leaded gasoline, from the industry's early cover-ups to their attempts to defeat EPA regulations.
First-person historical analysis of the leaded gasoline fight.
Political Economy Research Institute is a think tank focused on a variety of subjects such as diverse financial regulation, living wages and environmental protection.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is the agency that oversees auto and highway safety regulations, auto recalls, and CAFE standards.
Blue Green Alliance is an alliance of labor and environmental organizations.
Green for All is a leading environmental oranization focused on creating green jobs for low-income communities and people of color.