Environmentalists, politicians, and scholars express concern about a "race to the bottom" in environmental policy. Yet economic theory indicates that a race to the bottom in environmental policy is highly unlikely, and there is little evidence that such races have, in fact, occurred.
Terry Anderson, Laura Huggins
In the past, the economy of the western United States depended on converting natural resources into lumber, metals, and hydroelectricity. More recently, the relationship to natural resources has moved from extraction toward protection. But this shift has led to acrimony and gridlock.