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Opinion: Environmentalism Is Good for Business

A thriving natural environment creates opportunity for private developers and local economies, an economist argues.
November 14, 2018, 7am PST | Elana Eden
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In the New York Times, economics professor and former Obama adviser Austan Goolsbee urges the Trump administration to embrace environmental conservation as an economic growth strategy. Environmental regulation can benefit the private sector while helping to revitalize struggling rural towns, he argues.

"Accessible public lands and vibrant wildlife bring people to small towns and rural areas," Goolsbee writes. "They attract tourists and give residents a reason to stay, and give an enormous boost to the private sector in the very places the administration is trying to help." In 2017, visitors spent $50 billion on recreation in federal lands.

Moreover, "cleaning up pollution or protecting public spaces can unlock value in the private sector and allow it to grow." Without regulation and cleanup efforts on the Chicago River, for example, "billions of dollars of economic value would never have existed"—including the Trump Hotel and Tower.

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Published on Friday, November 2, 2018 in New York Times
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