Posted by | April 17, 2011 08:22 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Elections have consequences as President Obama and Speaker Boehner often remind us.  At the state level, one of those consequences is a sharp turn against environmental policies.  Governors Paul LePage of Maine and Rick Scott of Florida are leading the charge.

The strategies have been similar across the affected states: cut budgets and personnel at regulatory agencies, prevent the issuing of new regulations, roll back land conservation and, if possible, eliminate planning boards that monitor, restrict or permit building development.

Preventing new pollution control regulations and enforcement of existing ones, while objectionable, is one thing.  Enforcement can always be ramped up again and new regulations issued once a new administration comes in.  But allowing development of virgin lands and extinction of species is another.  Once a forest is gone, it may be a century before it is back again.  Once a species is gone, it is gone forever.  One has to wonder if any one election, largely run on other issues, should have a consequence like that.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.