In another topic (Here
) the following was presented as part of a post to question discussing whether or not appointing a scientist (or at least this particular scientist) to the head of the EPA was a sign of good things ahead.
I think the question of that particular topic can be debated, and I for one am a fence sitter on the subject. But the following quote caught my attention. DaffyGrl
, makes some good points in her posts on this topic
, and this is certainly not meant as any kind of inditement of her position. I just wanted to ask why this particular issue was seen as a problem.
QUOTE(DaffyGrl @ Mar 4 2005, 12:16 PM)
...As EPA acting deputy administrator, Johnson instructed agency officials to prioritize economic concerns in their environmental decision making. Source
I have to ask. Is this a bad thing? Of course how this approach was used or abused is an issue as well, but it is the more basic concept that I wanted to discuss.
Doesn't it make sense to do a cost benefit analysis on all proposed policies prior to implementation? For example, If we determine that a particular industry is polluting the air in a way that makes it .05% more likely that people in the area develop respiratory illnesses our first consideration is usually to increase pollution controls on that industry.
However, if that industry happens to be the only source of income in this area, then shouldn't we consider that an issue as well? What if the pollution controls in question were costly enough to cause the business in question to loose all profitability and as a result, close it's doors? Wouldn't it be likely that the cost of employment in the area and onset of poverty would have a much more damaging effect on the life and health of those effected by the pollution?
(Impact of Poverty on Health (PDF)
Now, in this scenario, regulating, or not regulating are not the only
Perhaps, after examining the costs vs. the benefits we discover that the best solution would be issuing a government grant to pay for the upgrades to the plant that would reduce the pollution. In that way, the pollution is reduced, and the jobs are protected as well. We would protect people from the heath risks of both pollution and poverty.
Question for Debate:Should we conduct a cost / benefit analysis of all proposed policies / solutions in regard to Environmental protection? Why, or Why Not?Is it acceptable to try to balance the economic needs and the environmental needs by using government funds, at times, to finance improved pollution controls if a cost / benefit analysis shows that it would protect both the environment and the economy? Why or Why Not?