Sunday, May 24, 2009

Markets, Regulation & the Environment

Scott Carson, President and CEO of Boeing Commercial has an opinion piece in the WSJ that illustrates a number of interesting points:

Over the past 50 years, the efficiency of commercial jets has risen an astounding 70%. This means that carbon emissions per mile flown have dropped 70% -- all without a regulatory requirement for greenhouse gas emissions.
Unfortunately, he doesn't stop there:
We're advocating for an efficiency standard for new airplane designs. An efficiency standard would be straightforward and easier to implement than a standard for aircraft operators.
Regulations usually create barriers to entry. Whenever dominant competitors call for additional regulations, it's often because they seek to protect their advantage. In this example, it seems particularly brazen that he also makes the argument that the substantial efficiencies achieved to date have occurred without the regulations he now calls for. While I would hope that legislators should know better, I suspect the more probably outcome is that those like Obama will enact these regulations heralding a public-private partnership that is nothing more than a continuation of recent policies protecting political favorites from competition.

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