Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Debunking the Growth Myth, Part 5

Myth Number 5
Environmental protection hurts the economy. We must be willing to sacrifice local environmental quality for jobs and economic prosperity.

Reality Check: Environmental protection is good for people and the economy.

A 1993 comparison of environmental standards and economic growth by Bank of America Vice President and Senior Economist Frederick Cannon, found that the economies of states with strong environmental standards had grown nearly one-half of a percent faster per year during the previous 14 years than in states with weak environmental standards.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Stephen Meyer posed the question: Does environmental protection and regulation hinder economic growth, job creation, and overall production, as some business groups maintain? He evaluated and ranked the 50 states based on two sets of criteria: economic prosperity (gross domestic product, total employment, and productivity); and breadth and depth of environmental programs. Meyers found that:

· states with stronger environmental policies consistently out-performed the weaker environmental states on all economic measures;

· the pursuit of environmental quality does not hinder economic growth and development;

· there appears to be a moderate, yet consistent, positive association between environmentalism and economic growth, and

· there is no evidence that relaxing environmental standards well produce economic growth.

read the rest of the argument against Myth 5 here.

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