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The "golden era" of American environmental law making, between 1964 and 1980, saw twenty-two pieces of major environmental legislation passed by bipartisan majorities in Congress and signed into law by presidents of both parties.
The "golden era" of American environmental lawmaking in the 1960s and 1970s saw twenty-two pieces of major environmental legislation (including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act) passed by bipartisan majorities in Congress and signed into law by presidents of both parties. But since then partisanship, the dramatic movement of Republicans to the right, and political brinksmanship have led to legislative gridlock on environmental issues. In this book, Christopher Klyza and David Sousa argue that the longstanding legislative stalemate at the national level has forced environmental policymaking onto other pathways. Klyza and Sousa identify and analyze five alternative policy paths, which they illustrate with case studies from 1990 to the present: "appropriations politics" in Congress; executive authority; the role of the courts; "next-generation" collaborative experiments; and policymaking at the state and local levels. This updated edition features a new chapter discussing environmental policy developments from 2006 to 2012, including intensifying partisanship on the environment, the failure of Congress to pass climate legislation, the ramifications of Massachusetts v. EPA, and other Obama administration executive actions (some of which have reversed Bush administration executive actions). Yet, they argue, despite legislative gridlock, the legacy of 1960s and 1970s policies has created an enduring "green state" rooted in statutes, bureaucratic routines, and public expectations.
In this historical and comparative study, Christopher McGrory Klyza explores why land-management policies in mining, forestry, and grazing have followed different paths and explains why public-lands policy in general has remained virtually static over time. According to Klyza, understanding the different philosophies that gave rise to each policy regime is crucial to reforming public-lands policy in the future. Klyza begins by delineating how prevailing policy philosophies over the course of the last century have shaped each of the three land-use patterns he discusses. In mining, the model was economic liberalism, which mandated privatization of public lands; in forestry, it was technocratic utilitarianism, which called for government ownership and management of land; and in grazing, it was interest-group liberalism, in which private interests determined government policy. Each of these philosophies held sway in the years during which policy for that particular resource was formed, says Klyza, and continues to animate it even today.
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