Federal Involvement in Environmental Initiatives
Environmental agendas have become major societal priorities that individuals are interested in for various reasons, including climate change and disastrous outcomes in the future. Regular people are trying to combat some of the damage through actions ranging from avoiding the use of plastic straws to installing solar panels and driving electric cars. However, it is inevitable that corporations and major federal organizations are the main offenders and are to take environmental issues seriously for the challenge to be addressed. However, switching to environmentally friendly business practices can be costly, which does not align with the narrative of producing the higher revenue possible, something that all corporations are focused on. This is why it is certain that federal regulations and involvement in law-making procedures and other implementations are critical for combative the adverse effects of mass pollution.
While the aim to tackle environmental damage through policies has been a priority for several years, the current situation shows that certain practices have remained stagnant or even got progressively worse. There are several reasons why the damage is still prominent, including the ever-growing consumer demand, the inability to switch to sustainable practices entirely, and the expenses that businesses have to endure to become more environmentally friendly. An example is the fact that in 2021, coal-fired electricity surged by more than 15%, drastically increasing gas emissions (Dennis and Joselow). This highlights that federal agencies are to put more effort into creating policies and regulations that would encourage businesses and individuals to opt for less damaging practices. This is also suggested by the drastic increase in the use of coal despite the seemingly strict environmental agenda promoted by certain organizations. Based on the fact that the situation remains to change for the better, it is inevitable that more federal involvement is needed for regulating and creating new laws that would restrict such practices.
Effects of a Lack of Involvement
It is certain that environmental causes have been a prominent topic of discussion for the last couple of years. However, prior to that, such ideas were not entertained in policy-making processes, media, and business practices. The lack of information on the subject and the lack of involvement of federal agencies in the field ultimately lead to significant damage that non-profit organizations and other entities are willing to address. It is certain that a lack of specific guidelines that would prevent businesses from having unethical environmental practices has had a major negative effect. An example is a fact that several energy companies operating on coal have left polluted territories in which the ash from the coal has contaminated the soil, air, and water in those regions (Hawthorne). As a result, locals living on such territories face difficulties accessing clean water that has not been affected by the companies using coal-fired energy. This is a clear example of how the lack of oversight on the state and federal authorities parts leads to major damaging outcomes that affect people and regions in which unethical businesses have operated. Based on this information, the opposite approach, which is implementing a highly regulated monitoring system, would minimize such risks. This is directly linked to the importance of federal agencies being directly involved in the practices of the most environmentally-damaging businesses such as energy companies.
One may argue that the governmental involvement in environmental policies that are to be followed by companies can be ineffective, financially damaging, or even hypocritical. Inefficiency, as exemplified earlier, may be illustrated through the increase in coal-fired energy use after the election of a president who is directly stating that reducing such damage is one of the primary objectives. It is also clear that the financial side of changing business practices to more sustainable ones is expensive and requires an investment that some corporations are apprehensive about. However, these arguments may be rebutted by stating that the involvement is to be more strict and the financial expenses are necessary. Furthermore, it is challenging to switch to sustainable ways when federal agencies are still investing in certain practices that are known to be damaging. An example is the purchase of more than 160.000 trucks that run on gasoline by the US Postal Office (Friedman). This is especially unacceptable based on the idea that the president has stated that federal agencies are to eradicate the purchase of gas-powered vehicles by 2035. Thus, entities that are supposed to become the first to reduce harmful practices invest in vehicles known for pollution, which is hypocritical for corporations that are to invest in changing how they conduct business.
While the argument is valid, this does not illustrate that the state’s involvement is necessarily harmful. Instead, it plays into the argument that more involvement is needed so that situations like this do not occur. Implementing an agenda to reduce gas-powered vehicles used by federal agencies is an excellent initiative, yet the deadline may have been set too far ahead. In case the intervention implied the reduction by 2025, federal agencies would not have the need to invest in purchasing so many gas-powered vehicles. This, again, suggests that federal entities are to monitor environmental practices directly and be stricter with the guidelines for a systematic change. The counterargument is indeed a portray of ineffective involvement and its damage to the overall idea of sustainability. Instead, efficient and rigid regulations would have an opposite effect, which involves the regulation of practices that are known to be harmful to the environment.
Sustainability and environmentally-friendly practices are not only the concern of worried customers or ethical businesses. Instead, federal agencies are the ones that can have the biggest impact and change the way corporations practice business currently. It is certain that laws and regulations shape the market and the practices adopted by organizations in terms of sourcing raw material, conducting affairs, and reducing damage. As a result, it is certain that the involvement of federal entities in changing the entire system to be more environmentally friendly is critical. Certain systematic shifts can create not only positive change towards ethical corporate decisions and actions but also have long-term beneficial effects for citizens. Since authorities are to protest the people, nothing can be more critical than protecting the future that they may not have because of harmful environmental damage. This is exactly why more rigid regulations and a more involved approach are needed when it comes to addressing such problems. Federal involvement implies a power that can forever change industries into becoming more sustainable and switching from a totally revenue-based agenda to a more ethical and less harmful one. It is necessary due to the major impact that the general population will suffer if the issues are not adequately addressed now.
Dennis, Brady, and Maxine Joselow. “U.S. Emissions Surged in 2021, Putting the Nation Further off Track from Its Climate Targets.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 2022, Web.
Friedman, Lisa. “Biden Administration Promises to Buy ‘Clean’ Industrial Materials.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 2022, Web.
Hawthorne, Michael. “Toxic Waste Left behind by Coal-Fired Power Plants Could Endanger Drinking Water for Years to Come.” Chicagotribune.com, Chicago Tribune, 2021, Web.