House Adopts Anti-Market, Anti-Environmental Policy

by Jonathan H. Adler

It’s understandable that most House Republicans are skeptical of environmental reforms championed by inside-the-beltway environmentalist lobbying groups.  But not everything supported by environmentalist groups or the Obama Administration is a bad idea.  Catch shares for fisheries (which I wrote about for NRO here) are a good example.  Environmental groups have come around to this market-based policy of recognizing property rights in marine fisheries because it has produced demonstrable results.  Catch shares increase the efficiency and sustainability of marine fisheries without expanding centralized regulatory control over the industry.  Yet some fishing interests don’t like catch shares, and earlier this month these interests convinced a majority of House Republicans to support an amendment barring further implementation of catch-share programs in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic Coast.  With this vote, a majority of House Republicans chose to ally themselves with Rep. Barney Frank over the market stalwarts at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and endorsed an approach to fishery management that is anti-market, anti-property, and anti-environment all at the same time.  More at Volokh and Reason.