We all know bootleggers and Baptists rarely see eye to eye. Ask one group and its members will probably tell you they despise the other group. Yet, when it comes to government regulation, both bootleggers and Baptists work together. Prof. Bruce Yandle explains that this happens because both groups actually desire the same outcome. The Baptists benefit, for example, from laws that make the sale of alcoholic beverages illegal on Sundays. Bootleggers benefit because now they can sell alcohol on Sundays. Groups who would never meet together but both desire the same outcome can often be found upon closer examination of many government regulations. Prof. Yandle demonstrates how environmental regulations fit into the bootlegger-Baptist theory.
Because abandoned mines generate substantial environmental harms, it is critical to remove regulatory disincentives to clean-up efforts and to replace them with positive incentives.
The delays and expense associated with an overly bureaucratic process pose real environmental costs.
We must take the time to separate facts from propaganda and listen to scientists and stakeholders to avoid prioritizing emotions over evidence.
Property rights play a critical role in protecting both people and the environment.