02 February 2006

Best Idea Since Sliced Bread: Polluter Pays

Peter Skidmore, an aquatic ecologist and restoration consultant with The Nature Conservancy in Washington State, is the winner of the "Since Sliced Bread" best common sense idea. Since Sliced Bread is "a national call for fresh, common sense ideas. A call for ideas that will strengthen our economy and improve the day-to-day lives of working men and women and their families."

His idea is to "Impose a 'resource tax' on pollution, development, and fossil fuel to pay for development of renewable energy and environmental restoration. Promoting sustainable localized energy industries (solar, wind, hydro, tidal, biofuels) will provide reliable, clean homegrown energy, exportable technologies, and bring energy jobs home. Funding widespread environmental restoration will expand existing industries (farming, recreation, tourism, and commercial fisheries) that are dependent on ecological services and will foster research, design and technology industries."

The "polluter pay" principle has been kicking around for some time. Essentially, it requires polluters to pay for the pollution they generate, thereby internalizing the true social cost of what they produce. Skidmore has translated this principle into a "common sense idea" worthy of note.

You can read more about his idea at Since Sliced Bread: Sustainable Resource Industries.

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