It’s all the rage on Capital Hill — can environmental legislation take a new step toward reducing global warming by another round of cap and trade targetting new thresholds of air quality. As The Washington Post covered in Vehicle Emission Rules to Tighten, the US Federal government seems to be moving to enact legislation setting new mpg and co2 efficiency goals. It worked for acid rain, they say.
One interesting thing motivating industry to sign up to more stringent standards is that they get a national one, rather than separate ones for different states and cities. Imagine the cost of complying with too many different standards. Having a widely shared standard simplifies things, and surely reduces costs for the supplier and thus price to the consumer. Simply put, the design principles and requirements for vehicles are changing — providers must adjust to consumer demand.
This should sound very familiar to any EA practitioner. It’s hard to get any standards set or complied with. Does this case offer a good example we could leverage? Yes: play the role of mediator between provider and consumer. However, since EA is often seen as in the pocket of the provider (central IT, the one trying to get standards set), this often backfires.
How can EA remain inbetween the consumer and the provider? This is one great argument for having EA report outside of IT, not just outside of application development and infrastructure/operations — tho that too is a boundary condition best straddled too.
But, back to cap-and-trade. Maybe this can work for EA, particularly for waivers. You can break the rules, not follow the standards, but there is a cost. And, you can trade your set of waiver grants to others for a price. What would that price be? I get your waivers next year? I get some of your budget for my project? If a price could be created, trading might occur.
Then again, maybe this is half-baked. Maybe there aren’t enough waiver situations where such trading would be needed. How many projects do you even have to manage with respect to EA waivers. Too much extra work just to implement this. Worth doing for $millions, but not for a few bucks here or there.
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