Make polluters pay! Back off government!


In this article in the C2C Journal, Elizabeth Brubaker reviews recent court cases against polluters, large and small, demonstrating that common-law property rights remain powerful tools for environmental protection. But courts are hamstrung when governments authorize pollution. Only when governments don’t stand in the way can people use their property rights to shield themselves from harm. Continue reading


Liability limits: lessons from the BP oil spill


One year ago, the BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded, killing 11 crew members and sending more than four million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Although drilling in the Gulf’s deep waters is resuming, the law limiting oil companies’ liability for the damage they cause has yet to be changed. Until lawmakers eliminate the liability cap, oil companies will lack full incentives to prevent future disasters, and will be ill-equipped to deal with them should they occur. Continue reading

Encouraging Pollution: The Perils of Liability Limits


The authors of this research paper examine the rationales for and the effects of laws that cap liability for environmental disasters, such as oil spills and nuclear accidents. Such laws, they conclude, subsidize environmentally harmful activities and encourage risky behaviour. Continue reading