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After several decades of significant but incomplete successes, environmental protection in the United States is stuck. Administrations under presidents of both parties have fallen well short of the goals of their environmental statutes. Schoenbrod, Stewart, and Wyman, distinguished scholars in the field of environmental law, identify the core problems with existing environmental statutes and programs and explain how Congress can fix them. Based on a project the authors led that incorporated the work of more than fifty leading environmental experts, this book is a call to action through public understanding based on a nonpartisan argument for smarter, more flexible regulatory programs to stimulate the economy and encourage green technology.
This book argues that Congress's process for making law is as corrosive to the nation as unchecked deficit spending. David Schoenbrod shows that Congress and the president, instead of making laws that govern us, generally give bureaucrats the power to make laws through agency regulations.
Saving Our Environment from Washington: How Congress Grabs Power, Shirks Responsibility, and Shortchanges the Peopleby David Schoenbrod
Congress empowered the Environmental Protection Agency on the theory that only a national agency that is insulated from accountability to voters could produce the scientifically grounded pollution rules needed to save a careless public from its own filth. In this provocative book, David Schoenbrod explains how his experience as an environmental advocate brought him to this startling realization: letting EPA dictate to the nation is a mistake. Through a series of gripping and illuminating anecdotes from his own career, the author reveals the EPA to be an agency that, under Democrats and Republicans alike, delays good rules, imposes bad ones, and is so big, muscle-bound, and remote that it does unnecessary damage to our society. EPA stays in power, he says, because it enables elected legislators to evade responsibility by hiding behind appointed bureaucrats. The best environmental rules-those that have done the most good-have come when Congress had to take responsibility or from states and localities rather than the EPA. With the passion of an authentic environmentalist, Schoenbrod makes a sensible plea for "bottom-up" environmental protection now. The responsibility for pollution control belongs not in agencies but in legislatures, and usually not at the federal level but rather closer to home.
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