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Robert J. Smith


Robert J. Smith

Distinguished Fellow

R.J. Smith is a distinguished fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute for Energy and Environment. Mr. Smith also serves as director of the Center for Private Conservation (CPC), a former CEI project. The CPC documents, prepares case studies on, and publicizes noteworthy examples of private conservation and stewardship on private lands in the U.S. and abroad.

Combining a natural sciences background in geology from Stanford University with social sciences and economics from New York University, Mr. Smith began to apply market and property-rights solutions to environmental issues when he was president of an Audubon Society chapter in 1970. He coined the term “free-market environmentalism” in his book, "Earth’s Resources: Private Ownership vs. Public Waste."

Mr. Smith was consultant to the Department of the Interior and the President’s Council on Environmental Quality, and he served as a special assistant at the EPA. He was a consultant to the Edison Electric Institute and director of environmental studies at the Cato Institute. Currently he works on wildlife, endangered species, property rights, and property stewardship.

Mr. Smith is a popular speaker and has lectured and debated widely, including in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, France, Portugal, Belgium, England, Canada, Mexico, and the United States.



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