Sunday, October 21, 2007

Clean Air Act

The United States, as can easily be imagined, experiences more side effects of global warming than anywhere else in the world. This may be explained by the increasingly large amount of greenhouse gases we emit each day, and our reliance on motor vehicles. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the number of registered vehicles has more than tripled since 1960; therefore, the amount of exhaust emission coming from registered vehicles alone, has more than tripled. This obviously poses a threat to our environment.

The Clean Air Act, updated in 1990 from its original 1970 version, is an act passed by the American government to "clean up air pollution." The act works to reduce the amount of air pollution created by vehicles and other sources of pollution, and reduce the amount of chemicals used that deplete the ozone. The goal of the act was to "set and achieve" National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for each state, and a maximum pollutant level would be set accordingly for each state. Many states were not proactive in establishing NAAQS, and missed the deadlines set by the Act. There have been revisions since the original version, so the Act has not been completely ignored.

For a proposal with so much potential for beneficial effects, it is a shame that it could not be acted upon as planned because the state governments were so careless as to miss the NAAQS deadlines. The original version of this Act, if enforced as it should have been, would have greatly reduced the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by each state. Furthermore, since the NAAQS was created for each state instead of the country as a whole, each state's industry and economy would not be put in jeopardy because they were taken into careful consideration when establishing an appropriate NAAQS. This would have been a very effective bill, and it is a shame that the American people are unmotivated to the point of carelessness.


KGoods said...

I agree on the states being careless about not making the deadline, but maybe the people of america are just taking for granted the life they have because if we keep this up, we are not going to have lives down the road because of global warming. Maybe something significant needs to happen to people for them to finally realize what they are doing to the environment.

AllEyezOnD said...

I also agree that the effort to establish the NAAQS would greatly reduce the amount of pollution that we as Americans emit into our air everyday. To me, the carelessness that the citizens of America have shown about the subject of pollution may discourage law makers from "wasting their time" with passing bills that will simply be looked over. I think that because the people of American have not had to suffer any major consequences that effect our well being as of yet, it is easier to ignore the subject. American citizens do not possess enough foresight to begin to prepare for what could really be detrimental to this country in the near future.

hearth35 said...

What you say is true, Americans are ignoring the subject, and that something significant will have to happen before we take notice. Scientists are seeing that the heating process is occuring much more rapidly than they expected, meaning that adverse effects will occur sooner than planned! If we do not take immediate action, disaster could strike.