Cato Institute on Environment
Minimal GMO labeling advances science & consumers
President Obama quietly signed legislation requiring special labeling for commercial foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs)--plants and animals with desirable genetic traits that were directly implanted in a laboratory. Gene modification
typically yields plants & animals that take less time to reach maturity, have greater resistance to drought or disease, or have other desirable traits.
Most of the foods that humans & animals have consumed for millennia have been genetically modified.
Usually this was done through the unpredictable, haphazard technique of cross-fertilization, a technique whose development marked the dawn of agriculture. Yet the new law targets only the highly precise gene manipulations done in laboratories.
Anti-GMO activists oppose the new law because it preempts more rigorous regulation. And that's exactly what President Obama and Congress intended to do: they have helped consumers and advanced science, to the frustration of the anti-GMO crowd.
Source: Cato Institute 2015-16 voting recommendation on GMOs
, Aug 1, 2016
End federal grants to reduce diesel emissions
Spending money is like mainlining heroin to politicians. It doesn't matter how often they promise to reform. They just can't quit. The federal government seeks to reduce diesel emissions, a worthy objective. However, noted GAO: "Fourteen grant and
loan programs at the Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency and three tax expenditures fund activities that have the effect of reducing mobile source diesel emissions; enhanced collaboration
and performance measurement could improve these fragmented and overlapping programs."
EPA runs 37 laboratories housed in 170 buildings located in 30 cities.
That agency concluded GAO "needs to revise its overall approach to managing its 37 laboratories to address potential overlap and fragmentation and more fully leverage its limited resources." The waste just keeps going on and on.
Source: Cato Institute 2015-16 voting recommendation on Diesel
, Mar 12, 2012
Cato Institute on Endangered Species
Substantially restructure endangered species law
The effects on individual property owners should be sufficient witness to the injustice of the distribution of the private costs [of species recovery plans].
Federal endangered species legislation must be substantially restructured. Current law would
lead to a progressive restriction on other federal activities & private land use, a spreading revolt of small property owners & local governments, & slower economic growth without any reason to expect an improved record of protecting endangered species.
Source: Cato Handbook for the 105th Congress
, Jan 1, 1997
Cato Institute on Parks & Public Land
US government owns 1/3 of all land-privatize it
U.S. Government owns about 1/3 of all land in the U.S. Only a tiny fraction of the vast federal land holdings are of environmental or historical significance. Federal holdings that should be transferred to private ownership
should include: non-environmentally sensitive federal lands, federal dams, federal oil reserves, public housing, and the federal helium reserve.
Source: Cato web site
, Jul 2, 2000
Move public lands into private hands
Source: Policy Analysis No.63, “Privatize Federal Lands”
, Nov 9, 1999
- Public land management does not always deliver what the citizens expect for the treasury or for the environment.
- The government actually loses money in the course of managing federal land estimated to be worth billions.
- The government has a
poor record for ecological stewardship.
- The argument that federal agents are better land manager’s than private owners is suspect in theory, it is dubious in fact.
- Given that record, [we should] move public lands into private hands.
Cato Institute on Pollution
EPA embodies regulatory extremism
The EPA has long embodied the worst regulatory extremism found in the federal bureaucracy.
Eliminating successive amounts of emissions becomes ever more expensive. Americans are paying between $4 and $28 for every $1 in health benefits.
unreasonable emission cuts is unhealthy as well as expensive, because wasting money on regulations of marginal benefits diverts resources from a variety of product and technological advances, like pharmaceuticals, which would yield far greater benefits.
Source: Doug Dandow, “Regulators at EPA Running Amok”
, Apr 4, 1997
Cato Institute on Population
There is no population problem
There is no population problem. Population growth is the result of the plunging death rate and increasing life expectancy worldwide. That is progress. The growth in human population has been more than met by increases in the production of food
and other resources, including energy. Famine in the 20th century is a political rather than an ecological phenomenon. We are not running out of resources, and real prices of raw materials are lower than ever before. Population growth and economic
growth are compatible. Between 1776 and 1975, while the world’s population increased six fold, real gross world product rose about 80-fold. People are net resource producers. Countries are not poor because their populations are
growing. England, U.S., Hong Kong, and others became rich during unprecedented growth in population. The most densely populated nations are among the richest.
Source: Testimony to Congress on S.10290 by Sheldon Richman
, Jul 20, 1995
Page last updated: Jan 28, 2020