While working at Saturn Corporation in Spring Hill, TN., I was told that the company had worked out a deal so they didn't have to pay penalties and fines to meet EPA regulations. The metric for measuring how much pollutants were exposed to the atmosphere was based on the square footage of the plant. After the plant was built, they discovered that they didn't have enough square footage to avoid paying penalties, so the politicians worked out a deal to include the Corporate HQ (called Northfield) which was used solely for white collar jobs (no manufacturing).
After GM decided to consolidate jobs back to Detroit, they talked about selling the Northfield building, but they couldn't because it was being used as part of the square footage to avoid paying huge penalties. It was cheaper to keep the Northfield building and pay for the utilities, taxes, etc., then pay the millions in penalties and fines.
Cheney and Bush were in the White House at the time and Fred Thompson was the Senator when the deal was struck. The point is that the Republicans and conservatives have a track record of abusing the climate for corporate gains. Exporting manufacturing out of the US (as part of the Free Trade Agreements) lessened the pollutants generated by the US, but it increased the pollutants overall to the environment from manufacturing plants in foreign countries.
What we really need are very strict Global EPA regulations that will benefit everyone globally. The regulations should never be based upon square footage of the manufacturing plant. It should be based upon the amount of pollutants released to the atmosphere. Failure to comply to these regulations must be tied to strict penalties and possible plant shutdowns until corrected. In other words, if you can't play by the rules, then you cannot go out and play.
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