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
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,
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).
True. When's the last time you heard of a fishery being injured by
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?
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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... :)
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
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... :)
"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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