Name any environmental problem, and the answer is always the same: Increase the size of government. Every ecological concern is an excuse for greater governmental control over the nation’s productive capacity. If regulation is insufficient, spend more money. If that doesn’t work, just regulate, tax, and spend some more. Even where government programs or policies are themselves the source of environmental harm, the stock environmentalist answer is to add yet another layer to the regulatory layer cake.
Regulations don’t hamper only big industry, but progressive startups as well. Regulation at all levels of government can stymie the development of alternative energy sources and the adoption of environmentally friendly technologies, but few environmental leaders urge regulatory reform. Wind power may be important to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, but what major environmental group fought to streamline the permitting process so that major projects don’t get held up for years (like Massachusetts’s Cape Wind)?