The politics of efficiencies, the efficiencies of politics: States vs. markets in environmental protection

Critical Review 6 (2-3):231-253 (1992)
In The Political Limits of Environmental Regulation: Tracking the Unicorn, Bruce Yandle identifies some of the key weaknesses of federal environmental regulation, including its regressive effects, its tendency to better serve selected political interests than the cause of environmental protection, and the EPA's failure to follow sensible priorities. Additional problems may also be cited, including the tendency to exclude citizens? voices from deliberations regarding the degree of pollution control. But Yandle's conclusion regarding the likely superiority of decentralized and market?sensitive alternatives to centralized regulation is overstated. Any such alternatives necessarily will continue to be grounded in relatively uniform national standards. Moreover, in the context of American political economy, market?based controls would continue to deny many citizens real voice and choice. The quest continues to be for the combination of controls that best preserves both the environment and liberty
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DOI 10.1080/08913819208443263
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