Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Environmental Flexibility

Megan McArdle on giving cities and states more power and flexibility when it comes to environmental issues and taking some of it away from our clumsy federal government.
In my view, greater state flexibility is a necessary, but not sufficient, for meaningful environmental reform. Environmental problems are hard, and the best solutions are not always apparent. Even where there is a broad consensus on the desirability of a particular policy approach, questions of implementation and design remain. Experimentation and innovation are necessary to discover how best to get these details right. I believe that greater reliance on property rights and market institutions will lead to more effective and equitable environmental protection, but until such approaches are tried, the claim is speculative. Only by trying new approaches can we learn which measures best succeed, or fail.

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