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Growth or a Clean Environment? Responses to Petroleum-Related Pollution in the Gulf Coast Refining Region

Joseph A. Pratt
The Business History Review
Vol. 52, No. 1 (Spring, 1978), pp. 1-29
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3113226
Page Count: 31
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Growth or a Clean Environment? Responses to Petroleum-Related Pollution in the Gulf Coast Refining Region
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Abstract

The power of history to instruct policy makers and enforcers is demonstrated in this study of the seventy-five-year effort to control pollution by the petroleum industry of the upper Texas Gulf coast. Dividing his subject into three time periods, Professor Pratt shows that the goal of economic growth, even with highly inefficient and polluting production methods, ruled until about 1914; from 1914 to 1940, progress in pollution control resulted primarily from less wasteful refining technology; and in the most recent era pollution, having become critical, is finally being controlled insofar as industry cooperation and national regulation can achieve it. But, he warns, the problem has now attained international proportions, and he asks where the social institutions to effect regulation are to be found on that plane.

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