Pollution Points

TitlePollution Points
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsLadenson, R
Corporate Authorsof Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, IIT
Date Published02/1998
PublisherCenter for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, Illinois Institute of Technology
Publication Languageeng
Keywordsbusiness , ENVIRONMENTAL ethics , Public Policy
AbstractUnder the Federal Clean Air Act, private businesses and governmental agencies that succeed in keeping their emissions below the permissible limits dictated by the Environmental Protection Agency can earn pollution credits. Holders of these credits can sell them to other organizations that have trouble keeping their emissions within the limits, or can retire them permanently, thus reducing the potential of further pollution. State agencies in New York have amassed millions of dollars in pollution credits. Recently the state has sought to lure businesses to New York by offering the credits for free. That is, if a company agrees to set up a plant or office in New York then the state will give them some of the pollution credits that it (the state) has earned. This new approach for attracting business into the State of New York is highly controversial. Widespread protests forced the state of Maine to back away from a similar approach. You are a state legislator in a state in which legislation has recently been proposed that would adopt the New York approach. Do you vote in favor of it or against it, and why?
NotesCase from the February 26, 1998 Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl. Copyright Robert Ladenson, Center for the Study of Ethics at the Illinois Institute of Technology, 1998.
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