The End Environmental Externalities Manifesto: A Rights-Based Foundation for Environmental Law
37 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2021
Date Written: January 7, 2021
The authors argue that the goal for the next stage of U.S. environmental law should be to internalize environmental externalities (principally harms to health from releases to the environment) to the maximum extent feasible. Where it is not possible to eliminate harms entirely, as a second best solution the authors propose financial compensation to compensate victims to the fullest extent possible plus disclosure of the basis for a polluter's conclusion that their releases will not harm others. The authors argue this goal -- rather than benefit-cost analysis or economic efficiency -- should be the guiding principle for the environmental law of the future, based on the natural law and philosophical principle that members of a community have an ethical obligation not to harm one another.
Keywords: environmental law, natural law theories, Kaldor-Hicks efficiency
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