The SO 2 Allowance Trading System: The Ironic History of a Grand Policy Experiment
AbstractTwo decades have passed since the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 launched a grand experiment in market-based environmental policy: the SO 2 cap-and-trade system. That system performed well but created four striking ironies: First, by creating this system to reduce SO 2 emissions to curb acid rain, the government did the right thing for the wrong reason. Second, a substantial source of this system's cost-effectiveness was an unanticipated consequence of earlier railroad deregulation. Third, it is ironic that cap-and-trade has come to be demonized by conservative politicians in recent years, as this market-based, cost-effective policy innovation was initially championed and implemented by Republican administrations. Fourth, court decisions and subsequent regulatory responses have led to the collapse of the SO 2 market, demonstrating that what the government gives, the government can take away.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.
Volume (Year): 27 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
- L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
- L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
- Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
- Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters
- Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
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