Owning Up to the Environment
24 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2010 Last revised: 4 Jul 2010
Date Written: June 30, 2010
This essay argues that, rather than being a constitutional bulwark against environmental regulation, certain kinds of property rights can actually ease constitutional barriers created by current Supreme Court doctrine. These environmental property rights (EPRs) are either rights to prevent environmental degradation (such as conservation easements) or limited rights to impair the environment (such as tradable pollution permits.) Among other possible benefits, these property rights may help nudge constitutional law in a more environmentally friendly direction in the areas of standing, takings, and the federal commerce power.
Keywords: environmental property rights, cap and trade, tradable permits, public trust doctrine, conservation trust
JEL Classification: K11, Q20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation