Cato Daily Podcast: Property Rights and Drilling in the American Arctic

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

PERC’s Shawn Regan sits down with Caleb O. Brown of the Cato Daily Podcast to discuss the federal government’s recently finalized plans to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. Under the status quo of political environmentalism, we face an all-or-nothing choice—”Drill, baby, drill!” or “Save the arctic!”. But could there be an alternative to this? A free market approach would give conservationists the opportunity to bid on federal land leases, which in turn could result in more of these lands being set aside for conservation. They also discuss how property rights change the incentives facing landowners and how ownership rights force groups to confront the tradeoffs associated with different uses of their land and face the full opportunity costs of their actions.

 

Further Reading

Why Property Rights Matter: For some environmental groups, oil and wildlife never mix—except when it comes to their own property.

What Would Environmentalists Do if They Owned ANWR?: As the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge debate heats up again, Shawn Regan, writing for Reason, looks at how The Aubudon Society has managed to earn mineral royalties while also protecting bird habitat.

Why Don’t Environmentalists Just Buy the Land They Want To Protect? Because It’s Against the Rules: Regulation and litigation rule the day, but sometimes cash should be king.

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