1980 Ed Clark Campaign Position Statements Opposing All Regulation of Energy and All Environmental Laws

This document is a 1980 correspondence between a reporter and the Clark for President Campaign in which Ed Clark responds to interview questions.

Excerpts from the document:

  1. “How would you solve our nation’s energy problems?
    1. “Like any other commodity, energy is subject to the basic economic laws of supply and demand, and as with any other commodity, the attempts of government to ignore these economic realities will only guarantee shortages and a continuation of the present energy crisis. At present, government both regulates and subsidizes the oil companies and other forms of energy, and it should do neither. So long as oil prices are kept at artificial levels, substitute energy sources such as solar, wind, and synthetic fuels have no chance to develop. I favor decontrol of all energy production, and I oppose taxpayer subsidies to any form of energy. I would allow the forces of supply and demand, operating in a competitive marketplace, to point us in the right direction as to future energy sources.”
  2. “How would you achieve a balance between the need for economic growth and protection of the environment?”
    1. “Present government-imposed environmental standards are arbitrary, haphazard, inconsistent, and political. Agencies are criticized by environmentalist for being slow to respond to problems, and by businesses for imposing costly and cumbersome regulations- and both complaints have much validity. I favor a totally different system whereby individuals and groups can file suit against polluters, prove damages, win compensation, and enjoin polluters from continuing to pollute; such a system is based on strict enforcement of property rights. At present, government has the sole power to determine the acceptable level of pollution. This fails to protect consumers, who have no recourse if the level is set too low and it fails to protect industry, which is often forced to comply with burdensome regulations. Economic growth and environmental protection will both be better protected by a system of private legal action to uphold property rights than by government standards.”