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Press Release for 2004 Report Card on Bush’s Environmental Policy

Free Market Think Tank Gives Bush a C+ on Environmental Policy

Bush’s Grades [PDF]
Executive Summary [PDF]
Introduction [PDF]
Complete Report Card – Table of Contents [HTML]
News Coverage [HTML]

October 21, 2004?President Bush’s environmental policy has received a C+ grade from PERC, the Property and Environment Research Center. The grade is based on the administration’s adherence to respect for property rights, market trading, and decentralization. These principles are summed up by the term "free market environmentalism.

PERC Senior Fellow Bruce Yandle announced the grade at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. "When reviewing public policy actions, the FME perspective looks for ways to change public managers’ incentives and to open up opportunities for voluntary actions while never relaxing the pursuit of environmental goals," said Yandle.

PERC is a nonprofit institute based in Bozeman, Montana, dedicated to improving environmental quality through markets. It issued a mid-term report card on the Bush administration in January 2003. The administration’s grade for the full four years, Yandle noted, is better than the C? the administration received at mid-term, "but not the kind of grade that deserves a certificate from the dean."

The C+ grade suggests that the Bush administration has improved slightly on the Clinton administration in bringing market approaches into environmental policy. The grades for the 15 subjects studied range from Ds to one B+, except for an F for air quality. The best grades came in the areas of regulatory review, agricultural chemicals, security of chemical plants, water quality, water allocation, and global climate change.

Yandle’s team includes policy analysts from think tanks and universities, including: Terry L. Anderson (PERC’s executive director), Andy H. Barnett, Susan Dudley, Holly L. Fretwell, B. Delworth Gardner, Dana Joel Gattuso, Donald R. Leal, Angela Logomasini, Joel Schwartz, and Daniel Simmons. PERC Senior Fellow Jane S. Shaw coedited the 115-page report with Yandle.

The full report, along with a short executive summary, is available at The executive summary gives the reasons for each component grade. Biographical information about the graders is included in the introduction to the report card. For more information contact PERC at 888-406-9532.

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