Environmental Policies Essay Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Air, Cleanliness, Environment, Energy, Greenpeace, Pollution, Government, Carbon

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/12/10

Owing to the rising threats of air pollution and global warming, it is essential to analyze different laws and regulations formulated by the US government for controlling environmental degradation. One such mandate is the Clean Air Act, which was passed by the Congress in 1970 and it aims to safeguard environmental standards in the US. Major improvisations were made in 1977 and 1990. This act targets to resolve various issues resulting from air pollution such as acid rain and damage to the stratospheric ozone layer. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) works for the federal government and has set air quality standards that thwarts six main pollutants: particulate matter, ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and lead. The act also ensures minimizing pollution from motor vehicles or industrial plants (as cited in US EPA, 2013).
Implementation of the Clean Air Act yielded several results. Since its last revision in 1990, it averted over 200,000 premature deaths, and approximately 700,000 cases of chronic bronchitis were shunned. The six major air pollutants have gone down by 41 percent and the Gross Domestic Product has increased by over 64 percent. The US EPA and NGOs have set out plans for promoting clean air revolution, and are hopeful of further transformation in the next 40 years (as cited in US EPA, 2013). According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (2010), there are many threats towards this cause due to increasing challenges posed by extreme industrialization in the US. The US EPA now deals with rising cases of cardiovascular diseases, extensive exposure of children to mercury and lead, higher levels of toxic pollutants from industrial plants, carbon emissions from cars and trucks etc. Data collected in 2010 revealed that an alarming number of 37 million children lived in a polluted environment (as cited in Natural Resources Defense Council, 2010).
According to Johnson (2011), the economic impact of the Clean Air Act is benefitting. In 2010, an estimated benefit of $1.3 trillion in public health and environment was made for a cost of just $50 billion. This number is more than 9 percent of GDP for cost of just 0.4 percent of GDP. In 2010, the ratio of benefits to costs stood at more than 26 to 1. Economic analysts predict an astounding growth of $2 trillion in profits, at a cost of $65 billion. This value is more than 14 percent of current GDP, with an expense of just 0.46 percent of GDP. The ratio of benefits to costs is expected to be more than 30 to 1. The U.S. environmental technologies supported 1.7 million jobs in 2008, in which air pollution control equipments generated revenues over $18 billion in 2007 (as cited in Johnson, 2011).
Though enactments of laws are extremely important to avoid the surge of carbon emissions in the modern society; but, it equally depends upon community participation to see the results of legal mandates. The US EPA has set up many environmental regulations that need to be fulfilled by the public. According to Greenpeace USA (2014), renewable sources of energy can potentially reduce carbon emissions and can meet 96% of electricity and 98% of heating demands. On the other hand, fossil fuels contribute towards 80% of global warming pollution. Greenpeace, GWEC and EREC are now demanding implementation of various policies like phase out subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear energy, internalizing the social and environmental costs of energy production through ‘cap and trade’ emissions trading. It also requires reforming the electricity market by prioritizing access to renewable power generators (as cited in Greenpeace USA, 2014).
The US federal government is doing an excellent job in safeguarding the community from hassles of global warming. Some important measures like recycling, saving papers or, discarding wastes into the garbage etc. are some of the ways that can effectively control global warming.


Greenpeace USA. (2014). The energy revolution 2012. Retrieved from: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/climate-change/energyrevolution/.
Johnson, L. (2011, March 3). The Clean Air Act’s incredible economic benefits. Retrieved from: http://grist.org/energy-policy/2011-03-02-gains-from-clean-air-act/.
Natural Resources Defense Council. (2010). What's at Risk from Industry's Full-Scale Assault on
the EPA and the Clean Air Act? Retrieved from: http://www.nrdc.org/air/cleanairact/default.asp.
US EPA. (2013, August 16). Clean Air Act Requirements and History. Retrieved from: http://www.epa.gov/air/caa/requirements.html.

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Environmental Policies Essay Example. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/environmental-policies-essay-example/. Published Dec 10, 2020. Accessed June 20, 2024.

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