Events & Media

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara



"Contrary Claims of a Cranky Conservationist"

Don Fullerton
Gutgsell Professor of Finance
University of Illinois

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
11:30 - 12:30
Bren Hall 1414

"Don Fullerton is the director of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) program on Environmental and Energy Economics and more broadly a major contributor to public economics and its interface with the environment."

—Gary Libecap, faculty host

How to save the environment? It’s not that easy, given four contrary hypotheses explained here. Each may be counterintuitive, but together they demonstrate perverse effects of environmental policies. Here are the four contrary claims:  First, “sustainability” means we must use up exhaustible natural resources. Second, many environmental restrictions increase profits of rich companies. Third, a policy to encourage renewable energy may increase pollution. Fourth, new clean technology standards can increase emissions. The combination may sound depressing, but we end with a solution to all these problems!

Don Fullerton received a BA from Cornell in 1974 and a PhD in Economics from UC Berkeley in 1978. He taught at Princeton University (1978-84), the University of Virginia (1984-91), Carnegie Mellon University (1991-94), and the University of Texas (1994-2008) before joining the University of Illinois in 2008. From 1985 to 1987, he served in the U.S. Treasury Department as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Analysis.

At Illinois, he is Gutgsell Professor in the Finance Department, Center for Business and Public Policy, and Institute of Government and Public Affairs. He was managing editor for the B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy (2001-2012) and is director of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) program on Environmental and Energy Economics (since 2007).  

NOTE: Community colloquia are generally talks of broad interest geared toward a diverse, sophisticated audience. Their purpose is not only to enhance knowledge and understanding, but also to bring people together and promote interaction that will strengthen the community.


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