how much is pollution control estimated to increase the cost of production in the united states? a. less than 2%, b. 5 to 10%, c. 20%, d. more than 25%
The way pollution controls are often built into the production process makes any estimation of their cost extremely difficult. [ In addition, pollution controls often discourage new investment and production, but because the value of what is not produced is not seen, no one currently calculates such indirect costs. The federal government has, however, estimated a subset of costs—namely, direct
expenditures on pollution controls. These expenditures cost governments and private entities an estimated $50 billion plus in 2002 alone. Some thirty-one billion dollars was spent on air-pollution abatement, seventeen billion on water-pollution controls, and eight billion for a variety of solid waste, hazardous waste, and other programs.
Congress’s own Office of Technology Assessment concluded, for example, that attempting to reach the EPA’s goal for urban smog reduction could cost more than $13 billion per year but result in less than $3.5 billion in improved health, agricultural, and amenity benefits. Attempting to use invariant national pollution standards to control smog, which varies substantially across geographic regions and over the seasons of the year, continues to be a very inefficient policy.
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