New York State is currently deciding whether and how to regulate the use of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from the Marcellus Shale. Your assignment is to write a roughly 1700-word essay in which you defend either some version of Cost-Benefit Analysis or some particular version of the Precautionary Principle as the best decision-making principle for the State to use to decide which regulations, if any, it should implement. In your essay, be sure to
(a) give a detailed description of the version of CBA or the Precautionary Principle you will be defending,
(b) explain how it would be applied in the case of hydraulic fracturing, and
(c) give reasons that should convince a sceptic that, in this case, the decision principle you advocate is preferable to one other viable decision principle (which could be either some other version of the kind of principle you advocate or a different kind of principle). You may consult outside sources to learn more about the empirical aspects of the issue. And, of course, you may draw on the articles we have read for class. You must be absolutely sure to cite any text or ideas that you take from anyone else. (Please refer again to the Academic Honesty policy in the syllabus.) Your essay will be graded on the quality of your ideas and their presentation. The ideas are better the more accurate, cogent, insightful and sophisticated they are. The presentation is better the clearer and more logically organized it is.
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