Major Problem Faced by each Level of Government
The environmental problem is one of the most daunting problems of the recent times. The environmental problems are caused on account of the pollution of air, water and land. Air pollution is a grave concern for people belonging to the modern industrial age. The adaptation of policies can reduce air pollution and it thus helps in keeping the air clean and free from pollution. The reduction of air pollution can help in the creation of a clean environment. The government of Texas is taking certain steps in order to eradicate this problem which is a serious issue for the future (Scott Holladay and Soloway). The aim of the essay is to focus and analyze the policies that are framed by the government in order to erase the problem of air pollution from the environment in order to keep the future safe.
The federal clean Air Act (CAA) was enacted in the year 1970. It was formed because of the increasing concerns regarding the quality of the nation`s condition of air. It was amended in the year 1977 and 1990. The purpose of the act is to protect and improve the quality of air of the entire nation. The health of the public gets affected because of the pollution in the air. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is the local representative that supports Clean Air Act. It strives to protect the public health of state and save the natural resources. The environmentalists argued that the TCEQ got down and dirty and they failed in regulating the environment. The government got so frustrated with the commission that they ended the deal of sharing regulation with that of the agency in the year 2005 and passed their own Clean Air Ordinance in the year 2007.
The actions of the clean air act and the TCEQ has been talked about in this essay and the attacks faced by them are to some extent not relevant. There is lot of environmental problems; however the focus of the essay is regarding the clean air. In order to analyze the same the Clean Air Texas has been taken into account in this essay.
It should be noted that in spite of all the efforts and the dramatic cleaning, the air pollution in Texas continues to harm the health and environment of people. Under the Act of Clean Air, the environmental protection policy continues to work in different states and local governments along with other federal agencies and the stakeholders in order to reduce the pollution in the air and the damage that is caused because of it. The government is trying to form policies but on account of lack of knowledge among people regarding the consequences of the emission of pollutants in the air, the government is unable to abide by the policy and facing a major problem. According to Rosenbaum and Walter, the renewable resources should be used in order to reduce the pollution. There are many states that are not meeting the air quality standards. In such cases the government needs to implement the state implementation plan in order to meet the standards expeditiously. According to Trail and Marcus, the use of the vehicles and transport is not being reduced which is the main reason of air pollution. They focused on the reduction of the use of transport which is the main cause of pollution. The government is facing serious hurdles in meeting the challenges caused by the use of excessive vehicles. Highly advanced technologies are being made use of by the government. For the innovation and implementation of advanced technologies, the government requires a huge budget. At the initial level it is difficult for the government to invest a large amount in technology. The pricing is therefore one of the biggest issue that is being faced by the government. The National Climate Assessment of US declared that climate change impacts are manifesting themselves and creating major barriers in resolving the crisis caused by air pollution. However in order to overcome such problems, the government of Texas has adopted certain policies and plans. This has been stated by Tietenberg, Thomas H and Lynne Lewis that the policies have been implemented in order to reduce the factors that are leading to the air pollution.
Reason for Initiating Changes to the Policy
The major reason for initiating changes to the policy was that The Environmental protection Agency exponentially expanded the regulation under the Clean Air Act at the expense to the Americans. According to Novan and Kevin, the State have robbed their role in the protection of environment. Therefore, the government implemented certain rules that consisted of legislation, the budget process and the oversight powers that would constrain the regulatory abuses of EPA. There was a technical risk in relation to the assessment of the regulatory impact with which the EPA justifies certain rules and regulations. The abuse of the policy served as the major reason for initiating a change to the policy.
In order to eradicate the problems related to the amendment of the policy the government has joined hands with EPA. This was formed to regulate the Clean Air Act. The first and foremost option was to restate and clarify in law the fact that the Clean Air Act was not designed to regulate the greenhouse gases. This option needs to be considered immediately. It should be kept in mind that the emission applies to the individual stationary industrial units and not to an entire industrial sector or any state. However, this option needs to be considered. The option of legality of the carbon rules for the new and existing power plants needs to be revised (Kraft and Michael).
There are pros and cones in relation to the cost of the policies. The tax regarding the pollution which is known as the carbon tax requires people to pay the social cost of pollution.
This has been put forward by Wolch, Jennifer R., Jason Byrne and Joshua P. Newell that the pollution permits like the carbon trading schemes are provided to the firms that enables them to cause pollution to a certain extent. These permits prove to be difficult to be traded with the other firms.
The major hurdle in the relation of implementing these policies is owing to the awareness among the people. The people are ignorant about the adverse effects that are caused on account of air pollution. Therefore it was proving to be difficult to convince people and the implementation of the pollution tax was difficult. This was proving to be a major difficulty in implementing the policies and the pricing of it. Therefore, it suffered from the benefits of the cost. This has been presented in the works of Fry, Matthew, Adam Briggle and Jordan Kincaid.
Options to be Considered
The best option is to implement the Clean Air Act. It is done in order to restore the rationality and the accountability to the environmental protection (Sheehan-Connor). The abuse of regulatory power and the re-establishment of the authority of law-makers have been rectified to set the environment and energy policy better. This particular act can restore a pollution free environment and erase the source of the emission. Therefore, it has been put forward by Anderson and Frederick, that the act is the best step that can be taken in order to create a pollution free environment.
Texas Clean Air project aims at curbing pollution from the refineries and chemical plants that has adversely affected the health of the people. The petrochemical facilities has violated the Clean Air Laws and released around 5 million pounds that is inclusive of chemicals that causes asthma and cancer. Environment Texas will stand up to the polluters and demand that law is followed so that it can stop the pollution. The federal regulators should take action so that law is ensured and the laws are abided by. The local elected officials by making use of thorough research has been successful in cleaning the air (Huaman, Ruth Nataly Echevarria and Tian Xiu Jun).
Therefore, from the above analysis this can be concluded that the adaptation of the policies to eradicate the pollution from the environment is the most reliable step. To make the environment pollution free, the role of government and the steps taken by them is essentially important. It has however been observed that that the application of the policies has met with great challenges. The policies had lot of pros and cones and the policies like the Clean Clear Act and TCEQ that were formed to reduce air pollution had to face a lot of criticism. In spite of all the criticisms it went on to function smoothly. The EPA however took active charge of eradicating the problems regarding the air pollution and they took active efforts to bring about change. For future it can be recommended that more acts and policies should be formulated in order to solve issues relating to environmental pollution.
Anderson, Frederick R. NEPA in the courts: a legal analysis of the National Environmental Policy Act. Routledge, 2013.
Fry, Matthew, Adam Briggle, and Jordan Kincaid. "Fracking and environmental (in) justice in a Texas city." Ecological Economics 117 (2015): 97-107.
Huaman, Ruth Nataly Echevarria, and Tian Xiu Jun. "Energy related CO 2 emissions and the progress on CCS projects: a review." Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 31 (2014): 368-385.
Kraft, Michael E. Environmental policy and politics. Taylor & Francis, 2017.
Novan, Kevin. "Valuing the wind: renewable energy policies and air pollution avoided." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 7.3 (2015): 291-326.
Rosenbaum, Walter A. Environmental politics and policy. Cq Press, 2013.
Scott Holladay, J. and Soloway, S. (2016). The Environmental Impacts of Fuel Switching Electricity Generators. The Energy Journal, 37(4).
Sheehan-Connor, D. (2015). Environmental policy and vehicle safety: the impact of gasoline taxes. Economic Inquiry, 53(3), pp.1606-1629.
Tietenberg, Thomas H., and Lynne Lewis. Environmental and natural resource economics. Routledge, 2016.
Trail, Marcus, et al. "Sensitivity of air quality to potential future climate change and emissions in the United States and major cities." Atmospheric environment 94 (2014): 552-563.
Wolch, Jennifer R., Jason Byrne, and Joshua P. Newell. "Urban green space, public health, and environmental justice: The challenge of making cities ‘just green enough’." Landscape and Urban Planning 125 (2014): 234-244.
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