From: Surname Name, Secretary-General, Bonneville Environmental Foundation.
RE: Proposal for the adoption of renewable energy and green power in the major cities in the United States to reduce the levels of air pollution in the country.
Date: 15th March 2018.
Air pollution is an extensive subject to exhaust, and in most of the times, policymakers tend to abandon it and concentrate on other matters such as national security. However, according to Worland (2017), air pollution persistently continues to be a cause of premature deaths in the country. Additionally, according to research published by the New England Medical Journal, there is a direct correlation between exposure to a particular matter and ozone gases and the rising mortality in the country. Both of these pollutants lead to smog, thus increasing the rate of infections and death. Therefore, as more of these pollutants are introduced into the atmosphere, it leads to increased chances of lung infections among the residents, thus raising the levels of deaths and critical body dysfunction amongst the residents. Additionally, an annual report released by "State of the air" research institution indicates that more than 47% of the US' population lives in polluted areas. This indicates a significant increase from the 2016/2017 report which indicated only 42% of the nation's population was living in polluted areas. Due to such facts and consequences, air pollution explicitly involving particular matter and ozone gasses emerge as an essential aspect that deserves utilization of research to generate relevant policies that will assist in reducing the current levels to manageable rates.
Bonneville Environmental Foundation engages in research and studies aimed at fostering the use of green products such as the utilization of renewable energy sources as an alternative of the non-renewable sources, which can be depleted and releases the major air pollutants into the atmosphere. Therefore, the enterprise has a broad scope of knowledge on the causes and effects of air pollution on both the nation's serenity and the health of the residents. We believe that we can utilize our vast knowledge and information gathered and experienced for over twenty years of operation to develop a policy that will be able to reduce the rate of residents exposed to air pollutants by half in the next five years. The identified policy will complement the already instituted regulations to enhance efforts focused on alleviating the pollution menace common in the major cities and residential areas across the US.
The primary role of the Environmental Protection Agency is to engage in environmental research, assessment, and educating the public on the adaptation of the best approaches that would lead to a healthy environment. Additionally, the organization has the mandate to enforce policies and regulations aimed at promoting and protecting environmental and human health. Thus, this is the reason we addressed you, sir, since we believe that you can utilize the current position as the head of Environmental Protection Agency to evaluate the relevance of the proposed measures. If they are suitable, we believe that your organization has the capability to source resources for its implementation and actualization.
Air pollution has invaded the major cities in the US. Kirkpatrick presented California as the most polluted city in the US. Apart from California, 4 out of 10 American residents are exposed to areas that possess unhealthy air, which has been facilitated by the excessive release of ozone gases and particulate matter into the atmosphere (European Commission). The primary causes of air pollution have been identified, and the government has increased its efforts to ensure that they are curbed. For instance, the establishment of the Clean Air Act was the initial moves by the federal government to regulate the number of pollutants released into the environment (Kuklinska et al.). The collaboration between the national administration and EPA established policies such as air quality and emission limitations, which sanctioned the control the amounts of poisonous gases such as the selenium compounds, chloroform, acetaldehyde, and phenols that are released into the atmosphere. Additionally, the act aimed at protecting the ozone layer from depleting. Hence gases such as chlorofluorocarbons and Freon were regulated since they act as catalysts in the Chapman mechanism, which depletes the ozone layer. This approach had a significant impact in reducing the level of pollution in the country, where, in its first twenty years after implementation, it had been able to prevent more than 18million respiratory illness cases and more than 200,000 unprecedented deaths (Earthjustice). Earthjustice also reports that benefits yielded from the enactment of the policy are 40 times the cost involved in its implementation. However, this policy majorly concentrated on the big institutions that are associated with the emission of large amounts of gases and particulate matter, thus leaving a room for the small-scale emitters to continue impacting the atmosphere.
Additionally, the government with collaboration with the European Union established the Air Quality Policy, which aims at ensuring that there is enough legislation on the electricity generation processes, vehicle emissions, NOx effluents, particulate matter, and Ozone pollution management. The policy aimed at analyzing the pollution sources and conducting research on the appropriate measures that can be instituted to cut down the rate of atmospheric pollution. After its induction in the 1970s, the policy has achieved significant milestones, where it focused on the reduction of six pollutants namely: particulate matter, lead, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and ozone gases (European Commission). However, the enactment of this policy and its targets have not been met by challenges such as lack of real-time and inadequate data collection. According to Economic Times, the last data on air pollution was collected in 2008, in an exercise that was conducted across the major cities. Therefore, such policies have not been instituted efficiently in the economy, thus leading to the emergence of gaps that limit the realization of the full purpose of its formulation and implementation.
The severity of the pollution menace is evidenced by a study published by Roppolo, who suggests that the regions such as San Diego, Phoenix, and Birmingham exhibits a rising rate in the levels of particulate matter. Such occurrences are witnessed regardless of the actions undertaken by the government to reduce pollution levels across the country. The first proposal towards the reduction of air pollution involves the utilization of renewable energy. The pollution menace has attracted several medium and large corporations such as Apple Inc. who have engaged in persuasive educational programs to educate the world's population on the best approaches to curb pollution. Apple has displayed its commitment to ensuring that its firms and the supply chain reduce emission levels towards the zero mark. According to Potuck, the 2017 year had the firm attain a milestone where renewable energy sources are powering 96% of its total operations. The enterprise is aiming at achieving a 100% energy level utilization through incorporating its supply chain to invest on and utilize renewable energy mostly. Such strategies have ensured that the organization does not contribute to any emissions of poisonous gasses into the atmosphere. Hence, in the long run, the overall pollution rate would fall to prominent levels if more companies follow the example given by Apple.
The menace of air pollution may be reduced through the introduction of taxes and subsidies based on the number of harmful gases released into the atmosphere. Such a policy requires a well-outlined framework, where the government sets the maximum amounts of emissions allowed per an organization. Therefore, any organization that exceeds the configured maximum, the administration installs fine, which is collected regarding emission tax. This means that an organization or an individual involved in emission practices will have to pay for social costs of pollution in the economy. For instance, the carbon tax was earlier implemented in the US, whereby it limits the corporations on the amount of carbon dioxide that can be released annually. This approach has been successful in indirectly motivating companies to adopt the use of purifiers or adoption of cleaner fuels. On the other side, the organizations that can maintain their emissions below the set limit ought to be rewarded for their efforts. Such compensations can be in the form of subsidies (Wang). However, this system may later become unproductive once all the organizations and individuals attain the set maximum emission limit. Therefore, the administration ought to devise a plan to reduce the set limit annually, thus giving a challenge to organizations to try and beat new targets each year. This approach is based on the principle that firms are rewarded for achieving positive externalities, and also those that yield negative externalities ought to pay for it.
Emissions from automobiles such as trucks, cars, diesel trains, and other engines utilizing fuel for their functionality are the main sources of ozone gases and particular matter. Therefore, the government and regional administrations ought to enforce the ban and regulation of the amount of polluta...
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