The political terrain on which the environmental debate is conducted today is defined almost entirely by the central premises of the environmental left. The green lobby maintains that ecological resources are by definition public property, or commons, that must be centrally planned and stewarded by bureaucratic agents lest they be recklessly despoiled by industry. But the biggest and worst polluter in America is the federal government, which subsidizes a host of activities that arguably cause more environmental damage than all the actors in the ”unfettered” free market.

It makes no sense for the federal government to subsidize environmental destruction on one hand while establishing laws, regulations, and vast bureaucracies to mitigate it on the other. Reconsidering those subsidies would help not only the environment but the economy as well.

More on Natural Resources

Commentary

A Ground-Breaking Opportunity: Mining Critical Minerals in America

By Ned Mamula and Stephen Moore. National Review (Online). March 15, 2018.

Let’s Make America a Mineral Superpower

By Stephen Moore and Ned Mamula. Bakersfield.com. February 14, 2018.

California Can’t End Wildfires, but It Can Weaken Them

By Patrick J. Michaels. Orange County Register. October 20, 2017.

Cato Studies

A Review of the Regional Green Gas Initiative

By David T. Stevenson. Working Paper No. 45. August 10, 2017.

Curse or Blessing? How Institutions Determine Success in Resource-Rich Economies

By Peter Kaznacheev. Policy Analysis No. 808. January 11, 2017.

Do Consumers Recognize the Value of Fuel Economy?

By James M. Sallee, Sarah West, and Wei Fan. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 38. November 11, 2015.

Articles

Reflections on Private Water Supply: Agency and Equity Issues

Steve H. Hanke. Journal of Applied Corporate Finance. Vol. 23. No. 3. Summer 2011.

Privatizing Waterworks: Learning from the French Experience

Steve H. Hanke. Journal of Applied Corporate Finance. Vol. 23. No. 3. Summer 2011.

Privatizing Waterworks

Steve H. Hanke. JHU Global Water Magazine. January 16, 2011.

Public Filings

Markle Interests v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

By Ilya Shapiro, Trevor Burrus, and Frank Garrison. Legal Briefs. August 14, 2017.

Yates v. United States

By Bradley J. Bondi, Joseph J. Bial, Lex Urban, Christopher Jones, Ilya Shapiro, & Trevor Burrus. Legal Briefs. July 7, 2014.

Office of Management and Budget’s Request for Comments on the Technical Support Document Entitled Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order 12866

By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger. Public Comments. January 27, 2014.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Rent-Seekers Infiltrate Public Utility Regulation

Kenneth W. Costello. Regulation. Summer 2018.

Moving Forward with Electricity Tariff Reform

Ahmad Faruqui and Mariko Geronimo Aydin. Regulation. Fall 2017.

51. Interior Department and Public Lands

Cato Handbook for Policymakers. Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 8th Edition (2017).

Events

The National Flood Insurance Program, Zoning Regulations, and Hurricanes: Lessons for Lawmakers

Featuring Ike Brannon, R.J. Lehman, Ryan Maue, Vanessa Brown Calder, & Peter Russo. September 25, 2017. Capitol Hill Briefing.

America’s Need for Critical Minerals versus Federal Land Management

Featuring Ned Mamula and Patrick J. Michaels. May 2, 2016. Policy Forum.

To Mine or Not to Mine? The Future of U.S. Mineral Resources

Featuring Ned Mamula, Patrick J. Michaels, and Peter Russo. March 24, 2016. Capitol Hill Briefing.

Downsizing the Federal Government

The Forest Service

By Randal O'Toole. July 2016.

Cutting the Bureau of Reclamation and Reforming Water Markets

By Chris Edwards and Peter J. Hill. February 2012.

Reforming Federal Land Management

By Randal O'Toole and Chris Edwards. February 2012.