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The Implications of Private Environmental Governance

Many of us first learned about the role of government through middle school civics class. In the simplest view, an important governmental function is to manage the exploitation of common pool resources in the face of pressure from individuals and corporations who have incentives to over exploit the resource, and who face collective-action problems in organizing to respond to this challenge. A recent Senate hearing demonstrates how the traditional role of private and public actors has been turned on its head in many areas of environmental law and policy.

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