Free markets and a clean environment: Can we have both?

February 11, 2014

Our new Grantee Profile focuses on the Property and Environment Research Center: Can the free market solve environmental problems in the United States? Ask the average American on the street, and their answer would be no: Government regulation is needed to ensure that natural resources are preserved. They might even add that a free market and a healthy environment can’t co-exist. But what if freedom, not government, really were the best path to environmental protection? The nonprofit Property and Environment Research Center, known as PERC and based out of Bozeman, Montana, has been making that case for over three decades. In so doing, they’ve shifted the way we talk about markets and the environment in America. PERC’s mission is simple: Show that private property rights, far from being antithetical to the environment, actually are the best way to preserve nature and natural resources for future generations. The nonprofit primarily deals with water use, ocean...