The premise underlying this book is that estimates of the economic values of environmental and resource services can be a valuable part of the information base supporting resource and environmental management decisions. The importance of this premise is illustrated by a number of current environmental and resource policy issues, all of which involve in one way or another questions of economic values and tradeoffs. Consider these issues:
s¬ Achieving the air and water pollution control objectives established by Congress requires massive expenditures on the part of both the public and private sectors. Is this diversion of resources from the production of other goods and services making us better off ?