• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Within a federal system, government agencies and regulatory policies can be fractured -- even at odds with each other. National actors share power with their counterparts in states and localities, as do presidents with Congressional leaders, and bureaucrats with judges. Understanding the broad economic and political contexts of environmental policymaking illuminates the motivations behind policy choices of various interested parties, from the National Park Service and the EPA to environmental activists and members of Congress. Rothenberg utilizes basic economic ideas to provide, not only a fresh look at how the U.S. deals with environmental ills, but a way of thinking about policy making in general.

The Costs of Environmental Progress
The costs of environmental progress

This book began with a brief look at how wetlands went from being considered bogs and swamps to becoming one of the nation's most valuable environmental resources. In responding to changing demands and views of the environmental value of wetlands, government has gone from facilitating their destruction to trying to protect them. The attempt has resulted in a fragmented policy with curious, and potentially environmentally damaging, features. Yet, this very fragmented policy is not without merit—it has dramatically slowed (although not completely reversed) the rate of wetland destruction. Few would dispute that government policy has played a role in this slowdown, but many would add that more could be done, at lower cost, to reverse wetland ...

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