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Industries Trading Smog

March 24, 1992

Mary Nichols and Tom Soto attack the smog emissions market proposed by the AQMD as costly and uneconomical ("Smog Trade-Offs: Devil Is in Details," Commentary, March 12). In truth , they are simply blinded by love for the current system of rigid air quality regulations.

According to Nichols and Soto, market-based programs encourage fraud because they lack strict controls. The free market is too free.

The development of an emissions market to replace the current system will allow the very flexibility needed to achieve our emission-reduction goals. The combination of market incentives and the relaxation of across-the-board regulations is the only way to find those measures that are productive and affordable. If anything, AQMD's market program should be expanded and liberalized to make it work like a true market, controlled simply by the principles of economics.

Eastern Europe has been awakened to the fact that resources are allocated more efficiently and effectively by markets than by central planning. As our economy is being strangled by regulations, the wake-up call is now beginning to be heard in the Southland.

MATTHEW SPALDING, Deputy Director, Center for Land Use and Environmental Studies, The Claremont Institute

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