Key Points
  • Technological innovation and free market incentives have allowed us to promote economic prosperity while improving environmental health, protecting wild lands and conserving resources.
  • Contrary to the current environmental policy that begins and ends with government regulation, environmental policies that harness cooperative market-based solutions not only protect personal freedom and prosperity, but also protect environmental health, quality and values.
  • When property or market-based solutions are not possible, simple and straightforward regulation can be an effective last resort.

Listen to any news broadcast, read any press release from an environmental advocacy group or simply watch the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) propose new regulation after new regulation, and it would be nearly impossible to not come away concerned or even fearful of imminent environmental disaster. It should come as no surprise that public opinion polling shows that large majorities of Americans think environmental quality is getting worse over time, not better.

The reality of the situation, however, is that it is an amazing time to be living in the U.S. and environmental quality has hardly ever been better than it is today. Incredible breakthroughs in technology coupled with sensible environmental regulations have afforded the U.S. with, by any measurement, some of the cleanest air and water in the world post-Industrial Revolution. For instance, since 1970, aggregate national emissions of six of the most common air pollutants (collectively referred to as “criteria pollutants”) have dropped by an astounding 72 percent, on average. During this same time period, national gross domestic product has increased by 219 percent!

Sadly, this story – easily one of the most significant and remarkable in human history – is hardly ever told.

That said, there is always room for improvement, and technologies will continue to develop that will aid in these efforts. Furthermore, environmental challenges will only continue to grow as the developing world begins using greater quantities of energy to develop, thereby raising their standards of living.

With this in mind, ALEC has and will continue to provide policymakers with models that can be used to promote environmental conservation and stewardship at the state level.

Publications

+ All Environmental Stewardship Publications

Model Policies

  • Resolution Concerning the EPA’s Underground Injection Control Class VI Rule Draft

    WHEREAS, clean coal power plants and other industrial facilities are required to receive approval for carbon sequestration under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Class VI rule of the Underground Injection Control program established during the Obama Administration, and WHEREAS, the uncertainty surrounding Class VI approvals may stymie project investments that would …

  • Resolution on Wildfire Policy Draft

    WHEREAS, there is a growing number of large, catastrophic wildfires that are impacting communities and their citizens across the West, creating adverse health impacts, destroying billions of dollars in public and private property; and creating significant reliability concerns for the energy sector; and WHEREAS, wildfire risk is increasing due to …

  • Resolution in Opposition to a Carbon Tax Final

    WHEREAS, affordable and abundant electricity is a strategic resource that is essential to modern life, America’s economic competitiveness. WHEREAS, the application of a carbon tax to gasoline and other transportation fuels will have a dramatic, immediate impact on transportation costs; and WHEREAS, a carbon tax, by design, will result in substantial, immediate …

  • Resolution Urging the President and Congress to Abide by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 to Establish a Permanent Geologic Repository for Used Nuclear Fuel and Defense-Related High-Level Radioactive Waste Final

    WHEREAS, America’s 99 commercial nuclear plants generate 20 percent of the Nation’s electricity with remarkably high levels of efficiency and reliability while producing zero emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases; and WHEREAS, the U.S. Congress enacted the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 and directed the Department of Energy (DOE) …

  • Act to Clarify State Jurisdiction over Public Lands Final

    Model Policy BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF [INSERT STATE]: A. In order to acquire all or any measure of legislative jurisdiction of the kind involved in Article I, Section 8, Clause 17 of the constitution of the United States over any land or …

  • Resolution Concerning the Stream Protection Rule Final

    WHEREAS, the state of {state} supports reasonable, practicable and sensible efforts to improve stream protection; and WHEREAS, under existing rules, 90 percent of all coal mines have no offsite impacts—and in many states 100 percent of the operations are free of any offsite impacts—according to the Department of …

+ All Environmental Stewardship Model Policies

Task Forces

Energy, Environment and Agriculture

The Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force operates under the principles of free-market environmentalism, that is to promote the mutually …

Press Releases

+ All Environmental Stewardship Press Releases