A Slice of Honesty Please!

Environmental Regulation & Political Controversy

Political leaders on both sides of spectrum lament how dangerous emissions and lack of proper oversight are damaging our precious ecosystem. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa P. Jackson stabbed arrows into the coal industry once again claiming it was not properly regulated, or perhaps not regulated at all. Coal, of course, is just one whipping boy in the line of fossil fuels that are supposedly destroying the earth. Rich countries, especially, have the luxury to form environmental protection agencies and special interest groups to watchdog the common offenders. Every election cycle has at least one candidate who makes the the environment a centerpiece in his or her campaign.
 
What we hear too seldom from politicians and voters alike, however, is there is no credible energy source available that will allow us to maintain our current standard of living. If $4-$5/gallon seems high now, wait until an electrical supply grid is established. Also, what is going to generate all that electricity that powers the electric cars? Coal makes electricity. It becomes a very circular path of pollution. Hybrid cars are a nice “feel good” option because buyers don’t have to live next to the coal plant that makes all the electricity for their new environmentally friendly vehicle.
 
Outsourcing energy production is another popular alternative. It allows the United States (US) to suck in reserves of oil, coal, and natural gas from other countries. Few consider that if those foreign countries had to observe US Environmental Regulations they would be unable to operate their extraction businesses.
 
Developing countries are justifiably critical of calls from developed countries like the United States, Japan, Britain, and Germany to tighten their environmental regulations. The US, Britain and Germany are prime examples of countries willing to push aside environmental concerns in order to grow their economies. Developing countries cannot afford to put money into developing expensive alternative energy sources to the same extent as their wealthier counterparts.
 
These rational points tend to get drowned out amidst the emotional frothing that takes center state in media outlets. It’s more entertaining to watch someone scream and rub stuff all over their body rather than sit down and discuss the tangible problems and workable solutions that would actually help all parties involved.