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US Environmental Policy in Action provides a comprehensive look at the creation, implementation, and evaluation of environmental policy, which is of particular importance in our current era of congressional gridlock, increasing partisan rhetoric, and escalating debates about federal/state relations. Now in its second edition, this volume includes updated case studies, two new chapters on food policy and natural resource policy, and revised public opinion data. With a continued focus on the front lines of environmental policy, Rinfret and Pautz take into account the major changes in the practice of US environmental policy during the Trump administration. Providing real-life examples of how environmental policy works rather than solely discussing how congressional action produces environmental laws, US Environmental Policy in Action offers a practical approach to understanding contemporary American environmental policy.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Environmental Policy in Practice

Abstract
The focus of this chapter is to present a few environmental dilemmas (e.g., air pollution, water contamination, garbage disposal, and species protection) in order to examine the choices that the United States has made about these issues. Then, we introduce the reader to the central theme of our book: we need to pay attention to the doers of environmental policy, as they are the people on the front-lines of environmental policy, implementing society’s choices. With the term “front-lines,” we are referring to the people who implement or carry out environmental policy on a daily basis. These individuals on the front-lines include environmental rule-writers, who translate congressional statutes into actionable policy, and environmental inspectors, who ensure that your neighborhood waste management company is complying with federal law to ensure that your waste is properly stored. They also include members of advocacy groups who urge collective action as well as policy analysts who provide the important facts and analysis we need to make decisions. Further, we cannot overlook those businesses that cooperate with rule-writers and environmental inspectors to protect the environment (Pautz and Rinfret in The Lilliputians of Environmental Regulation: The Perspectives of State Regulators, Routledge, New York, 2013). The argument we make in this book is simple: in order to understand environmental choices made in the United States, we need to pay attention to the doers of environmental policy, many of which occupy the so-called fourth branch of government (i.e., the bureaucracy).
Sara R. Rinfret, Michelle C. Pautz

Chapter 2. The Development and Context of American Environmental Policy

Abstract
This chapter focuses on the contextualization of environmental policy and its history. This chapter begins by considering the history of environmental protection in the United States, starting with the conservation and preservation movements in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We focus on the modern environmental movement in the 1960s and overview the social and political movements that culminated in more than two dozen major environmental laws which continue to provide the backbone of US environmental policy. These discussions culminated in an exploration of the dramatic turn environmental policy and regulation has taken as a result of the 2016 elections. We situate the trajectory we appear to be on in this policy arena with sharp turns taken in the past. The final section of this chapter explores the role of scientific knowledge and information in environmental policy discussions. Many of the insights we can draw about environmental issues can be understood by how American society views scientific information.
Sara R. Rinfret, Michelle C. Pautz

Chapter 3. The Messy Process of Making Environmental Policy

Abstract
This chapter builds upon the frameworks demonstrated in the first two chapters by delving into the process of policymaking in the United States We provide an overview of public policy through an examination of the stages heuristic model as a gateway to understanding how policy is made. Then we review the shortcomings of the stages model in understanding environmental policy, and introduce other policy models (e.g., policy streams model; advocacy coalition framework), along with specific examples of environmental policy to help illustrate how the process of making environmental policy. We use these different models to demonstrate that environmental policy is not often made in the neat, linear fashion many would think; rather, it is a complex process that is often messy, vague, and unpredictable. We update this chapter to include a more robust discussion of policy failure, as it is a particularly salient topic in today’s political landscape. After demonstrating the complexity of the policymaking process, we then consider the challenge of federalism in crafting policy.
Sara R. Rinfret, Michelle C. Pautz

Chapter 4. Official Actors in the Policy Process

Abstract
This chapter delves into the key institutional (or official) actors and their impact on US environmental policy. More specifically, this chapter provides an in-depth discussion of how Congress, the courts, and the presidency have shaped environmental policy in the twenty-first century. In particular, we offer a brief overview of how each of the three branches of government has been instrumental in crafting the US environmental policy regime and how each of the players’ roles has ebbed and flowed in recent decades. These perspectives are captured with the chapter’s introductory story on Senator James Inhofe’s (R-OK) strong opposition to climate policy, and our chapter case study that explains why congressional committees serve as the gatekeepers to US policymaking.
Sara R. Rinfret, Michelle C. Pautz

Chapter 5. Unofficial Actors in the Policy Process

Abstract
This chapter examines the instrumental role that a variety of “unofficial actors” (i.e., interest groups, the media, and lobbyists) have played in shaping environmental policy in the United States. To understand the remarkable impact that groups can play in policymaking, the chapter begins with the voices of Women’s Voices for the Earth, an organization devoted to sound the alarm on harmful toxins in women’s feminine products. Detox the Box demonstrates how the work of grassroots interests can affect change on the front-lines of environmental policy. The closing section of the chapter uses the case of Daniel McGowan to determine whether the actions of this unofficial actor should be classified as environmental terrorism.
Sara R. Rinfret, Michelle C. Pautz

Chapter 6. Translating Vague Statutes into Rules and Regulations

Abstract
How vague policy language is translated into rules and regulations for organizations and individuals to follow is the focus of this chapter. The rulemaking process is frequently ignored in environmental policy discussions; however, it is through this process that policy is put into action. We begin this chapter with lessons from our voice, former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt. Then, we provide an overview of the rulemaking process, from the pre-proposal stage to rule finalization in the Federal Register. To document the nuts and bolts of the rulemaking process, the case study for this chapter examines corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards and how presidential changes can engender regulatory rollbacks. As our case study and voices section demonstrate, rulemaking is important, especially environmental rulemaking, but politics can affect progress.
Sara R. Rinfret, Michelle C. Pautz

Chapter 7. Implementing Environmental Policy and Regulations: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Abstract
Crucial to understanding environmental policy on the front-lines is investigating how environmental policy is implemented. This chapter turns to the regulatory environment and begins by discussing the nature of command and control regulations and how they endeavor to implement environmental policy. In particular, we draw connections from earlier chapters as we discuss the governing and economic contexts that shape the implementation of environmental policy. In this chapter, we highlight the role of environmental inspectors, particularly those inspectors at the state level. These inspectors are the governmental officials who are responsible for the implementation of environmental regulation every day. We look at who these individuals are, what their experiences are like, and their challenges. This discussion helps illustrate the individuals who are responsible from protecting the environment on a daily basis.
Sara R. Rinfret, Michelle C. Pautz

Chapter 8. Is It Working? Evaluating Environmental Policy (written by Jeffrey J. Cook)

Abstract
Figuring out if environmental policy is working is more critical now than ever. This chapter provides an overview of how environmental policy is evaluated and the complexities of its evaluation. Much of policy evaluation has to do with the quantification of various variables, which is understandably complex in this policy realm. We consider how this is done, with a significant portion of this chapter devoted to both understanding how cost–benefit analysis and risk assessment are conducted. Our chapter’s voice and case challenge the contemporary notions of cost–benefit analysis through an examination of environmental justice. Our voices section notes the important work of Matthew Tejada. Our case study examines longitudinal research on commercial hazardous waste, defining for the reader, the intricate details of environmental justice in the United States.
Sara R. Rinfret, Michelle C. Pautz

Chapter 9. The Intersection of Natural Resource and Energy Policy

Abstract
This chapter explores the natural resource and energy policy nexus that often define environmental policy in the American West. This chapter begins with the voice of Representative Raul Grijivala and a family vacation to Grand Canyon National Park. This introductory story gets at the heart of the interconnectedness of natural resource and energy policy. The majority of public lands are managed by federal agencies (e.g., BLM, USFWS, USFS, NPS). Yet, within these lands are resources that could be used for energy development in the United States. The chapter concludes with the case of the Dakota Access Pipeline to the true complexities of the actors involved trying to influence public policy outcomes.
Sara R. Rinfret, Michelle C. Pautz

Chapter 10. The Politics and Policies of Food

Abstract
This chapter is a new addition that focuses on a highly salient and engaging topic: the politics of food. In the last ten years, an emphasis on food, from how it is grown and transported to how it arrives on the plates of Americans has gained particular emphasis. Former first lady Michelle Obama ignited controversy as she endeavored to shift conversations about school food programs and their nutritional value. In many ways, food politics is a manifestation of core American values (individual liberty in particular) and commands a gigantic regulatory apparatus that is a fascinating product of its history. This chapter provides a history of the regulatory structure and overview current topics from school lunch programs to genetically modified organisms and organic labels at grocery stores.
Sara R. Rinfret, Michelle C. Pautz

Chapter 11. Environmental Policy in Action: Past, Present, and Future

Abstract
This chapter concludes the text with a discussion about where environmental policy is today and its direction for the future. With the election of Donald Trump in 2016, environmental policy has taken a dramatic turn and much remains uncertain. We tie together themes developed in the book and demonstrate that environmental policy is far more than any one branch at one level of government. Readers will be reminded of the multitude of actors involved in this policy area and shown how they can get involved in these issues at the local, state, and federal level and let their voice be heard, whatever their opinions are about environmental issues.
Sara R. Rinfret, Michelle C. Pautz

Backmatter

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