An Advocation for Clean Air
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Issues concerning the environmental conditions must never vanish from our concerns. From the years past until today, everybody could attest that the life span of humanity is becoming shortened. The primary cause of this reality is mainly considered as the gradual destruction of nature every single day. Besides, one particular aspect of the environment involved here is the condition of the atmosphere or simply the air. Along with the pollution of water growing eminently around the world, air pollution is also a very destructive thing to the nature. In an article related to this issue, it is mentioned that EPA (Environmental Protection Act) states that there is a great need for a reduction of the air pollution that causes about thousands of deaths and respiratory illnesses every year (Tresaugue, “Texas Fights EPA over clean-air rule”). Because of pollution – particularly, air pollution – life is at stake. Nevertheless, the sad reality is that it is mankind itself that triggers such destructive matter. Considerably because of the development of technology, wherein numerous factories are being constructed, pollution increased as well. Much worse reality is that some of these factories seem to be negligent of the condition of the nature, wherein they do not make immediate actions necessary to reduce the adverse effects of their operations upon the environment. Thus, there is a present contradiction between two sides: environment-concerned agencies – which advocate for necessary policies and restrictions upon the factories that are causing pollution, and those factories which insist on maintaining their present operations due to some preferences and arguments. Nevertheless, it is good to have a well-grounded position regarding such issue.
First of all, let us take a little look at what is going on between the two opposing sides. It is clearly stated that EPA is making necessary actions to reduce the great amount of pollution coming from the factories in different states. Perhaps, the Act wants it to be done as soon as possible. Included in this action, EPA is adapting to the Cross-State Air Pollution rule, wherein there will be necessary cutting down of dangerous chemical emissions that greatly contribute to pollution. EPA wants this to be implemented upon every state where such factories are being operated. Moreover, they want it to be enforced right away for the sake of the health of the citizens in other neighboring states, and the preservation of environmental areas like forests, parks, ecosystems, and more. However, there are some states – particularly Texas – that wants this rule to be delayed for certain reasons. First, they reason out that cutting down the emissions of some chemicals will lead to essential problems in their operational system. Another reason that they point out is the loss of jobs of the workers in particular factories in the State. Let us first look at the latter side.
It is indeed, a necessity that factories should do their operations. In any manufacturing enterprises, production facilities and factories are needed in making and developing goods and products (Schenk, Wirth, and Muller 1). In order for something in demand to be given, there has to be a giver or producer. It is very well acknowledged that without power plants, no electric power will be supplied for use in other facilities, houses, schools, hospitals, and other public establishments. Without the factories that manufacture metal products, there will be nothing to use in construction of building, bridges, and other projects – particularly mechanical and civil works. Additionally, if the rule will be carried out right away, the factories would find it hard adapting to the changes they have to make. Thus, we can consider the reason of some States that immediate cutting down of chemical emissions will certainly affect the production of particular factories as well as the demand of the public as well.
Another reason that they raise is worth considering too – the rule will certainly lead to loss of jobs of some workers. Reduction of the emissions in the production would lessen the rate of the factories’ operation. Thus, fewer workers will be utterly needed – resulting to elimination of some people from the labor force. For instance, it is estimated that about 400 to 500 jobs in Luminant – a factory in Texas – will be affected. However, elimination of jobs is very hard to do for some States because as public servants, State officials should make ways to help their people sustain their lives. Many families will be affected if their income will be greatly reduced, or if financial provisions will be lost at all. Under the institutions and policies of the American government, it is clearly stated that the government should be greatly concerned with the people – particularly their employments. United States for instance, is being urged by the public not to be too much concerned with international affairs but rather worry about protecting the jobs of American citizens (Wilson, Dilulio and Bose 536). The jobs of the families greatly matter for the government. Thus, this reason of the States can be considered reasonable enough for withholding the rule’s implementation upon the States’ factories.
Now at this point, the side of the EPA should be considered as well. The act’s admonition for the factories particularly in Texas is clear – there should be a necessary cutting down of emissions of chemical substances specifically SO2 and NOX. EPA even plainly addressed that the implementation of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule is for the sake of not bringing pollution to the neighboring states anymore. Due to the concern that a large number of deaths and sicknesses are increasingly getting prevalent in the country and that there are many forms of biological life that are also at risk of getting affected by the adverse effects of air pollution, EPA is very earnest in immediately taking actions for it. EPA’s reason for the immediate implementation of the rule, along with the application of tools for air quality improvement and closing down of some factory units, is for the sake of the human and environmental life.
Nevertheless, in taking both opposing sides into consideration, we should be having a rightapproach. One particular approach is simply looking at an individual’s own goals and benefits, without considering its effect upon other things involved. Merely looking at the reason of those factories who complain with the immediate implementation of the Rule, it can first be considered ‘selfish’. Particularly Luminant, its concern is the difficulty the implementation will have upon its production systems, and to its workers. But we can verily say that it is still possible – though it may be hard – for such systems to change. Years have passed that it became evident that technology changes only under the control of humans. Thus, if man will be decided enough to let these systems adapt to what is really needed of them, then it will most likely be so. It is still possible. Moreover, concerning the workers, it is also possible for them to still have a job even if their current jobs will be closed. They can go to other companies. Though it may be difficult to them, they can transfer to another State(s) wherein they can find enough provision. If they too will be resolved enough to take care of the environment, then it is most expected that they will do it just as it is needed to be done. If they want to take part of loving their own environment, they should also make some sacrifices for it.
However, looking at the side of the EPA’s implementation of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, it should not be that way too. The complaint of the Texas factories is that there’s not enough time given for them to adapt to the rule. Luminant’s CEO explained that particularly concerning the installation of additional emission controls, they are only given less than six months when in fact, it requires at least three years. Somehow, this should also be considered by EPA; immediate implementation is hard.
Now before making a position on this issue, the analysis of both sides should be in a utilitarian approach. Although taking it from a context of business ethics, this is a good way of analyzing what is best to be done in this kind of environmental issue. In terms of business, this kind of approach affirms that whatever the course of action will be, it should be determined by what maximizes utility (Morland and Bos 118). That means whatever action will be executed, it should be for the benefit of everything and everyone involved in it. In the issue, both sides have their own reasonable admonitions, the Texas factories say that immediate implementation will lead to great difficulties upon its operations and great loss of jobs of the workers; the EPA, on the other hand, says that the rule implementation should be as soon as possible because environment is really suffering. Now this would be a good position. The action that will be executed should address both sides. The EPA could give the factories – those who complain against the immediate implementation – additional months to adapt to the rule. If the factories admit that they would not be able to do it, then the government itself should make necessary support for them. Perhaps, they could give financial support. Concerning the jobs of the workers, EPA should give them enough time to find jobs before leaving the factories. The government itself should help them in doing this. In this action, EPA will still acquire what they want – although it may not be done right away – and the factories will be able to adapt to it.
Necessary shutting down of some units of particular factories may not be really easy. Less production will affect everyone – particularly consumption. Nevertheless, jobs can be regained; technology can be changed; but not so easy with the environment. Both parties should resolve to act together for the sake of humanity and the environment in its entirety.