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PERC: Free Market Environmentalism in Action

By Reed Watson -- March 9, 2012

The Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) is the nation’s oldest and largest institute dedicated to improving environmental quality through private property rights and markets.

Founded 30 years ago in Bozeman, Montana, PERC began as a think tank where scholars documented how government regulation and bureaucracy have led to environmental degradation. At the same time, they sought to explain how markets could be harnessed to improve environmental quality. From this work originated the idea of free market environmentalism.

What is FME?

PERC senior fellow emeritus Richard Stroup has written a 2,400-word essay on free market environmentalism (FME) for the Library of Economics and Liberty. “Free-market environmentalism emphasizes markets as a solution to environmental problems,” explains Stroup. “Proponents argue that free markets can be more successful than government—and have been more successful historically—in solving many environmental problems.”…