Environmental Governance

Environmental Governance: A Report on the Next Generation of Environmental Policy

Copyright Date: 2002
Pages: 208
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  • Book Info
    Environmental Governance
    Book Description:

    Environmental policy has been the focus of reform efforts for more than a generation. Now policymakers face a new and challenging set of issues: how to develop strategies for attacking new environmental problems, how to develop better strategies for solving the old ones, and how to do both in ways that are more efficient, less taxing, and engender less political opposition. On one level, environmental performance is the problem. On a broader level, the question is how reshaped intergovernmental partnerships will affect how America is governed. This book charts the politics of the next generation of environmental policy: how citizens will sort competing goals and responsibilities, how conflict and collaboration will shape the policy options, and how the nation¡¯s political institutions will respond. These issues raise tough political problems that will define which options are viable and how different options will reshape politics. The contributors outline a path to fresh perspectives on the critical problems that must be addressed. Contributors: Christopher H. Foreman Jr. (University of Maryland, Brookings Institution), Donald F. Kettl (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Brookings Institution), Shelley H. Metzenbaum (University of Maryland), Barry G. Rabe (University of Michigan), Graham K. Wilson (University of Wisconsin-Madison) About the Editor Donald F. Kettl is professor of public affairs and political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. His recent books include The Global Public Management Revolution: A Report on the Transformation of Governance (Brookings, 2000) and The Transformation of Governance: Public Administration for the 21st Century.

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-9866-8
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-13)
    Donald F. Kettl

    By any conceivable measure, the United States made great progress in producing a cleaner environment during the last third of the twentieth century. Air pollution dropped substantially even as the nation’s population, automobile miles driven, and industrial production grew. More rivers became swimmable, and the leaching of toxic chemicals from landfills slowed dramatically.

    In the wake of this clear success, new questions arise. Can the twentieth-century strategy produce continued progress in the twenty-first century? Or are there better ways of getting the job done? Will the twentieth-century strategy simply prove unworkable for current environmental and political problems? Is it time...

  4. CHAPTER TWO Permitting, Prevention, and Integration: Lessons from the States
    (pp. 14-57)
    Barry G. Rabe

    A growing chorus of respected studies of the recent performance of American environmental policy laments the failures of the existing pollution control system and endorses broad reforms. In the past half-decade alone, distinguished organizations such as the National Academy of Public Administration, the President’s Commission on Sustainable Development, Resources for the Future, Yale University’s Center for Environmental Law and Policy, and the National Environmental Policy Institute, as well as broad-based projects such as Enterprise for the Environment (E4E), have addressed these issues. Their analyses offer sobering testimony that reveal serious limitations to conventional approaches to environmental protection, often concluding with...

  5. CHAPTER THREE Measurement That Matters: Cleaning Up the Charles River
    (pp. 58-117)
    Shelley H. Metzenbaum

    Where is the story here? An environmental agency leader announces an environmental goal. Progress toward the goal is measured. Progress toward the goal is made. Most citizens would assume that this is what environmental protection agencies and their leaders routinely do—identify environmental problems and opportunities, set goals for making progress, direct attention and resources to the problem, make and measure progress toward the goal, and revise the strategy if it is not working.

    Unfortunately, as any employee of an environmental regulatory agency would tell you, this almost intuitive order of business is the exception rather than the rule. Despite...

  6. CHAPTER FOUR Regulatory Reform on the World Stage
    (pp. 118-145)
    Graham K. Wilson

    Regulatory reform is a familiar topic to Americans, but it is by no means an exclusively American topic. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development monitors regulatory reform on its website, and a visit to that site suggests that member countries are indeed interested and engaged in regulatory reform.¹ Their interest is rooted in the attempts of policymakers to reconcile several strong and conflicting demands common to most if not all advanced industrialized democracies.

    First, as numerous public opinion polls have demonstrated, the public demands high levels of environmental and consumer protection. Environmental interest groups in the United States have...

  7. CHAPTER FIVE The Civic Sustainability of Reform
    (pp. 146-176)
    Christopher H. Foreman Jr.

    Pervasive mistrust and disagreement face anyone aspiring to reform environmental policy. Environmentalists disparage the credibility of self-interested “polluters,” and businesses despair of satisfying the environmentalists’ demands, which they often perceive as profoundly unreasonable. Everyone is suspicious of environmental agencies, and the agencies themselves often display tension across the state-federal divide.

    Many critics say that environmental policymaking is insufficiently democratic. “Enhancing stakeholder participation” is a reform mantra, but there is no reason to believe that simply bringing more players into the game will, by itself, yield environmental choices that are more palatable or more cost effective. There is no guarantee that...

  8. CHAPTER SIX Conclusion: The Next Generation
    (pp. 177-190)
    Donald F. Kettl

    In framing the next stages of environmental policy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) faces a huge, largely uncharted challenge. The EPA is the nation’s flagship organization to promote a safer, cleaner environment. Yet the EPA does almost nothing on its own. Rather, it does almost everything in partnership with other players. The Department of Justice represents the EPA in court. Private contractors do most of the work in the Superfund program, dedicated to cleaning up toxic waste sites. Local governments and private companies manage landfills, and local governments handle storm water and sewage treatment. State governments oversee most of...

  9. About the Authors
    (pp. 191-192)
  10. Index
    (pp. 193-203)