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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

A. A whole group of people, some actually on the "green" side... B. Economics and pragmatism of how to actually make progress towards achieving something both sides want.
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What one side wants, in some cases, is to do nothing.
It's not good to blindly worship an industry because you worked in it.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

A. Even if it were true (which, in its entirety certainly, it isn't), they didn't get their way, did they? That's the legislative method at work. Neither "side" necessarily ever gets the entire piece of pie they would like.
B. Factual evidence? Your initial allegation has melted away into personal attack and/or such generalities as to be meaningless on request for specifics. And, of course, it's not good to blindly accept that another group is totally correct and not subject to critical thinking, either.
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Before we continue, let's clarify what you do not believe. I'll narrow it down to two things for now:
1) Industries including utilities can and do purchase legislation. True or false (your belief).
2) Some utilities have arranged to not install sufficient pollution controls on coal fired plants because they claim it's not economically feasible. True or false (your belief).
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

Environmental groups and other special interest groups can and do purchase legislation. True or false (your belief).

Of course, it isn't always economically feasible (and, again as stated before) sometimes it isn't even technically feasible. No "belief" about it, it's fact.
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True. When's the last time you heard of a fishery being injured by environmental legislation?

Correct. But, there's a big difference between a plant being too old, and a company not wanting to spend the money because it's looking out for shareholders. The latter reason is of no interest to people downwind, who are suffering the effects of the pollution.
And, it's not a simple matter of just pollution. For example, it has been demonstrated that significant tourism revenue is lost when fish in a particular place are no longer edible. Do I need to explain this further?
Do you think states like NY have spent so much time in court fighting coal utilities from Ohio, just to practice courtroom skills?
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

Ever heard of tuna?

Well, that's debatable as well. Some of those people may well be shareholders as well. And, "looking out for the shareholders" as you put it, is part of their fiduciary responsibility to those shareholders.

No, but have they yet demonstrated the "bought official" you claimed initially?
As newer generation comes on line, emissions will continue to be lowered. It isn't going to happen over night but it is gradually happening. Of course, if you could get the greenies to get behind nuclear generation and it hadn't been prevented for the last 40 years from replacing many of these old and inefficient plants, some of the major emissions sources in all likelihood would have been gone 20 or more years ago.
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Let's try this, since you have such a fairy tale view of government:
Pollution credits: A company prefers to change nothing about their facilities. For a cost that's less than making the needed changes, they buy the right to do nothing.
What do you think would make a politician agree to vote for a law which allows this? Be the lobbyist for a utility in Ohio, whose plant is "emitting more smog-causing nitrogen oxides than all of the dozen or so coal-burning plants in New York state, Federal emissions records show."
What do you say to the politicians you need to vote your way?
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote: ...

On the other hand, the company that sold the credits had them to sell. And, eventually, they expire and there aren't an unlimited number of them.
Overall, it again boils down to a compromising action that was able to be enacted that provides both sides a little of what they wanted. Ugly maybe, but that's essentially the way all legislation gets enacted.
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The other option is get them and then not use them. Retire them as it where. I get a kick out Gore and others saying that it is okay for them to have the big houses, etc., because they buy these offsets. If they were serious, they'd buy the offsets and not use them so total pollution would go down by that amount. And don't even get me started on the fraud that is offsetting the footprint by buying a tree somewhere.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

Yeah, I was going to suggest that Joe's NY lawyers would probably have been more effective if they had simply used the resources to buy the credits instead of filing lawsuits, but thought I'd just retire rather than lob an incendiary... :)
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Buying them doesn't make the lawyers any money and only puts one on the back pages of the paper... What's the use of that? (g)
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Citizens downwind of the filthy plant don't give a fuck what the utility's shareholders want. Pollution credits are a crime.
Now, answer the question: How do you, as a lobbyist get your elected slobs to vote for a law that allows your corporate sponsor to buy their way out of being responsible?
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

Well, those that are also shareholders might as noted previously. And, no they're not a crime, they're part of established law. Now if you want the law changed, get busy...

Same way you get yours to do your bidding... :)
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How naiive.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:
...

Superficially, maybe. Fundamentally, not so much...
If the concept of pollution credits is such an anathema to you, join with a like-minded group or organize your own and recruit folks to come along to the party. Develop a proposed legislative solution, understand _thoroughly_ the issues on _both_ sides (although in reality there are probably twenty faceted sides to any real issue rather than just the simple-minded good-versus-evil viewpoint you seem to espouse), draft some proposed legislation and get some support from your local representative(s) to introduce it.
Lots and lots and lots of work you say? Yeah, sure. Likely to happen next week even if you did? No. But, that's the way the system works. Takes money to get to DC to talk to other congressional representatives other than when you can buttonhole yours at the local townhall meeting? Ayup, lots of it. That's why you're gonna' need a bunch of folks to join the movement. Gonna' get fought tooth and nail by the coal and utility industries? Most likely; they've got a stake in your plan, too. Find some allies? Also, quite probable. "Win" totally in the end by completing eliminating the pollution credits market? Unlikely, but if you can make a strong enough case you might realistically expect to get some changes that make some differences in areas you like. That's known as "compromise" and is how the present state came to be. Welcome to Washington, Mr. Smith... :)
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I already do these things.
I'm still curious where you got the idea that corporate favors don't exist. You don't actually believe that campaign contribution laws are the be-all and end-all, do you?
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

Well, good.
"Corporate favors" as you call it is simply the exercise of the above process. Like it or not, it's the way things get done. Ideal? No, not necessarily. Are there some crooks? Certainly. Are the bulk of the elected representatives "on the take"? No, for the most part they're just ordinary people trying to do the best they can between competing viewpoints. On occasion politics gets in the way of common sense, but that again is part of the process.
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And the Sierra Club and others with an environmental bent just toss money at Congress Critters for the exercise. Still influence and access is a long way from bought and paid for.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

Oh, but "that's different"... :)
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