Volume 74, Number 6

December 1999

Toward Optimal Environmental Governance

Daniel C. Esty

Better environmental results depend less on fine tuning theories of environmental federalism than on improving regulatory performance. Simply put, how we regulate is more important than where we regulate. Current environmental policy efforts fall short for a number of reasons: technical and information shortcomings, “structural” or jurisdictional mismatches, and public choice distortions. In this Article, Professor Daniel Esty argues that a theory of optimal environmental governance must seek to address each of these sources of regulatory failure.