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Recommendation to China on Clean Air Act

February 4, 2013

Advice to China on Clean Air ActDear China:

Very sorry to  hear about your latest smog events.  I hear you are comtemplating a Clean Air Act.  Excellent!  Just wanted to share a “lesson learned” from the U.S. experience:

 I would highly recommend not making each one of your provinces primarily and ultimately responsible for addressing air quality above their province and then preempt the provinces from controlling most of the emission sources (e.g. nationally preempted mobile sources and inter-province/international pollutant transport). (see 42 U.S.C. § 7407(a)); U.S. Const. Art. I, Sec.10; U.S. Const. Art. 1, Section 8; and 42 U.S.C. § 7543).

Authority and responsibility must be aligned.  The result otherwise is a time-consuming and resource intense process that results in increased intergovernmental in-fighting and a focus more on procedure over results.

Best of luck to you.

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