Do U.S. EPA Regulations Actually Make Global Pollution Worse?

<h2>Exporting pollution, one factory at a time.<a href="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/ID-10043521.jpg"><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-2680" alt="pollution" src="http://www.professorhollybell.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/ID-10043521-200x300.jpg" width="200" height="300" /></a></h2> <p>The Heritage Foundation recently published an article on how climate regulations designed to put an end to coal fired electric plants will significantly harm U.S. manufacturing (<a href="http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2014/03/epas-climate-regulations-will-harm-american-manufacturing">EPA's Climate Regulations Will Harm American Manufacturing</a>). This got me thinking, if EPA regulations drive manufacturing offshore, is it possible that by increasing environmental regulation in the U.S. and driving manufacturing to regions where little environmental regulation exists, is the EPA making global pollution worse overall?</p> <p>Another way to think about this is: Is there a regulatory "sweet spot" that is more likely to keep manufacturing in the U.S. while reducing overall global pollution? After all, pollution in China, for example, ultimately impacts the U.S.  (see <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/21/world/asia/china-also-exports-pollution-to-western-us-study-finds.html?_r=0">here</a>).</p> <p>The short answer to the question is "maybe". In theory this would appear to be true, however, finding publicly available year-over-year raw

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