Accordingto the Federal Clean Air Act, an organization that meets the EPAemission limits earns pollution credits. These credits can be sold toother companies or agencies which are unable to keep their emissionswithin EPA precincts. In the case, the plant manager is responsiblefor six power plants in New England, two of which are located inMassachusetts. The facilities are considering the installation of newscrubbers to comply with new laws at the cost of 750 million dollars.However, the VP of generation proposes another option, which is lesscostly. This involves purchasing a neighboring plant at 500 milliondollars, close it down and take advantage of the resultant emissioncredits.
Ethicaldilemmas involve a moral issue while a legal dilemma involves a legalmatter (Halbert & Ingulli, 2012). The ethical dilemma, in thiscase, is whether the plant manager should disclose this informationto his friend, who manages the plant being bought. This is because,in the long run, it will have an implication on his career. Toresolve the issue, it is important to consider the organization’spolicy and whether the decision to close the plant, in the long run,is secret or public information. The legal dilemma is whether aclosed facility qualifies for emission credit. Dealing with the legaldilemma would require an evaluation of the EPA guidelines on emissioncredits.
Since1972, the Fassett Power plant has been operational. It is locatedfive kilometers from the town and employs over 300 locals. To get thepermit for using the local aquifer, the company agreed to provide 500out of the 3000 gallons per minutes of water to the area residents.The company has been providing treated water to the locality fordecades, but it is no longer enough for the rapidly growing suburb.This is because the plant sparked economic activities in the areamaking it a build up populated area. The demand for water has sincedoubled. The city of Buffalo has been forcing the company to provideadditional water to the resident, but it is not economically viable. Despite being the ideal corporate citizen, the bad press hasnegatively affected the reputation of the company.
Theethical dilemma in the case is whether the city administration isjustified to use unethical tactics to force the company to supplymore water to the residents. This matter can be resolved throughdialogue. There is no legal dilemma in the case because the firm hascomplied with the permit agreement.
Thecase involves a power plant developer who has obtained all otherpermits but has challenges getting a building permit from the cityadministration. Whenever the company went to the city for permitapplication, it was given ‘requests’ of what it needed to dobefore the permit can be approved. The included computer equipmentfor a local school, beautification project, burying power lines, CityPark and bocce ball court, and a fishing pier. As a result, thebudget increased by about 20 million dollars.
Theethical dilemma, in this case, is whether the city administration isjustified to give a series of ‘requests’ before the buildingpermit can be issued. It was important to establish whether theincreased cost of the project is sustainable, considering that thepower sale agreements had already been signed. There is no legaldilemma involved in the case.
Thecase involved a cogenerating project with a contract for output withthe local utility and a neighboring acid plant. However, the localutility company approached the generating plant with an aim of buyingout the power purchase agreement. This required Public UtilityApproval. There were unethical relationships between the individualsinvolved in negotiating the details. After the issue was resolved,an agreement was reached, but the owners of the power plant declinedto sign the contract. The local utility was forced to buy the assets.
Sincethe ethical issues that had emerged were resolved, there is noethical dilemma. However, the legal dilemma is whether there arestatutory provisions that allow the local utility to buy the powerpurchase agreement and the rights of the plant owners. The issue wasresolved by opting to acquire the assets of the generating plant.
Halbert,T. & Ingulli, E. (2012). Law& ethics in the business environment.Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.