Acid rain is no longer a major problem, at least not in the United States. This is because the U.S. Government passed a Cap and Trade program for plants emitting sulfur, the chemical which causes acid rain. Companies weren’t allowed to emit sulfur without buying “credits” from the government (or trading them with each other, which is where “trade” comes from), and there were only a limited number of credits available (the “cap”). Over the years, the total amount of sulfur allowed in the atmosphere got lower and lower, which in turn made the sulfur credits rarer and more expensive. Because it gradually became so expensive to emit sulfur, companies were forced to find ways to avoid it.
It has been hypothesized that cap + trade would be a very effective way to lower CO2 emissions in the states, but powerful private interests seem intent on preventing that from happening.
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