Environmental Ethics and Cost-Benefit Analysis

46 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2007 Last revised: 28 Jun 2014

See all articles by Stephen Clowney

Stephen Clowney

University of Arkansas - School of Law


A heated debate has emerged among legal academics over the continued appropriateness of using cost-benefit analysis (CBA) as a decisionmaking tool in federal administrative agencies. Environmentalists and other progressive thinkers argue that regulators should abandon CBA in favor of more holistic procedures. In response, this manuscript provides three original defenses of cost-benefit analysis and hopes to show that CBA advances basic tenets of the environmental movement. Specifically, this Note argues that cost-benefit analysis 1) promotes thoughtful deliberation, 2) protects the dignity of those in contested policy debates, and, 3) improves the standing of environmental groups in the eyes of the public.

Keywords: cost-benefit analysis, environmental law

JEL Classification: K32, K23

Suggested Citation

Clowney, Stephen, Environmental Ethics and Cost-Benefit Analysis. Fordham Environmental Law Review, Vol. 18, p. 105, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=968074

Stephen Clowney (Contact Author)

University of Arkansas - School of Law ( email )

260 Waterman Hall
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

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