There is general acceptance that in the United States and the developed world the environment has improved dramatically. It is ironic that the very economic growth that supports the demand for, and the supply of, environmental quality is being threatened by the costs of excessive environmental regulation. The latter is now one of the largest sources of regulatory cost in the American economy and it is growing. But environmental regulation undermines private property rights, markets, economic growth, and individual liberty, which may result in reduced environmental quality for future generations.
As these environmental regulations accumulate, the economy becomes less productive and generates less income, wealth, and employment. These losses, in turn, reduce the ability of the economy to support environmental quality as well as the ability and desire of citizens to pay for it.