Libertarian Party Platform




Pollution of other people's property is a violation of individual rights. Present legal principles, particularly the unjust and false concept of "public property," block privatisation of the use of the environment and hence block resolution of controversies over resource use. We support the development of an objective legal system defining property rights to air and water. We call for a modification of the laws governing such torts as trespass and nuisance to cover damages done by air, water, radiation, and noise pollution. We oppose legislative proposals to exempt persons who claim damage from radiation from having to prove such damage was in fact caused by radiation. Strict liability, not government agencies and arbitrary government standards, should regulate pollution. We therefore demand the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency. We also oppose government-mandated smoking and non-smoking areas in privately owned businesses.

Toxic waste disposal problems have been created by government policies that separate liability from property. Rather than making taxpayers pay for toxic waste clean-ups, individual property owners, or in the case of corporations, the responsible managers and employees, should be held strictly liable for material damage done by their property. Claiming that one has abandoned a piece of property does not absolve one of the responsibility for actions one has set in motion. We condemn the EPA's Superfund whose taxing powers are used to penalize all chemical firms, regardless of their conduct. Such clean-ups are a subsidy of irresponsible companies at the expense of responsible ones.