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Environmental Policy

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Market Capitalism
a socioeconomic system in which scarce resources are allocated by way of a complete set of decentralized markets
A benefit or cost that affects someone who is not directly involved in the production or consumption of a good or service
Adam Smith
Grandfather of modern day microeconomics; coined the idea of the Invisible Hand to describe how free markets work to reflect the wants and needs of the people
the tragedy of the commons
(1968 paper by ecologist Garret Hardin) global commons such as atmosphere and oceans are used by all and owned by none
Tragedy of the Commons: population problem
As the human population keeps growing at an exponential rate, we are adding more and more to the earth, and thus increasing the strain/demand for the earth's finite resources (these resources being considered common property)
National Environmental Policy Act (1969)
National Environmental Policy Act: general
Created in 1969; declares national environmental policies and goals:
Case Study: Michigan Freeway Projects
An example of EIS and NEPA in action!
Clean Air Act (1970)
Clean Air Act: general
created in 1970; goals were to...
National Ambient Air Quality Standards (1970)
Clean Water Act (1972)
Toxic Substances Control Act (1976)
TSCA: general/goals
created in 1976:
TSCA: chemical reporting requirements
for chemicals with annual volumes of 25,000 lbs or more per site....
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (1976)
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act: general/goals
created in 1976; applies only to *active* sites
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (1980)
CERCLA: general/goals
created in 1980; applies to *inactive* sites; goals...
Case Study: Love Canal
Example of CERCLA and the Superfund!
Public Policy Making
a process that involves a number of related decisions originating from *different institutions and actors* ranging across the whole domain of the federal government and private institutions
Policy Formulation: general
the stage of developing policy proposals by interest groups, white house staff, congressional committees, and think tanks; the designing and drafting of policy goals and strategies; involves an extensive use of environmental science, economics, and policy analysis
Legitimation: general
the stage of selecting and endorsing policies through political actions by Congress, the president, and the courts; the mobilization of political support
Policy Window
an opportunity for advocates to push their solutions or to push attention to their special problems; describes a situation where policy issues move onto the government agenda and towards decision and action
Game Theory: policy making
views policy as rational choices in competitive situations
Policy Game Structure
fragmentation of authority; political power is widely dispersed and fluid; diverse interests and values survive after political loss
Chief Executive: area(s) of most influence
Agenda setting; really can influence any steps in policy formulation
Implementation process
Bureaucracy: area of most influence
Judicial Branch: players
the courts (federal/appellate/ supreme)
States: players
duplication of federal "cast of characters"
Policy Formulation
Interest Groups and NGO's: area(s) of most influence
State Implementation Plan
State Implementation Plan
Plan submitted by a state to show the EPA how the state will achieve the environmental standards set by the EPA
1990 Minnesota Toxic Pollution Prevention Act
Example of State Pollution Prevention Strategies;
Global Warming Solutions Act
created in CA in 2006;
Interest Groups: definition
any association of individuals or organizations attempting to influence public policy in its favor based around one or more shared concerns
Tipping Point
the point at which awareness and understanding of an issue reaches critical mass; the point at which urgency forces lawmakers to take decisive action which leads to issue mobilization by interest groups
Health Hazard
less dangerous pollutant category
Hazardous Air Pollutant
more dangerous category
Environment: as resouce
a scarce resource that cannot provide all desired quantities of its services at the same time
Economics: definition
a wise allocation of resources; the study about how to manage the activities of people and the ways we use the environment to meet our material wants and need in the face of scarcity
The Costs of Environmental Protection
all the values of the alternative uses that are forgone and the labor, materials, capital, and energy used up in controlling the flow of wastes to the environment
cost-benefit analysis
A decision-making technique that involves weighing the costs of a giving action against the benefits of that action.
Revealed Preference model
economic model that estimates the market value of the environment; used in cost-benefit analysis
willingness to pay survey
Type of Stated Preference Model
Benefit-cost Analysis vs Cost effectiveness
use cost-effectiveness when you know that the policy will be implemented, regardless of benefits, in order to select the lowest cost policy alternative to achieve desired benefits
ecological economics
the study of economics as a component of ecological systems
environmental economics
economic effects of the environment and how economic processes affect that environment, including its living resources
non-market values
values not usually included in the price of goods or services
market failure
A situation in which the market does not distribute resources efficiently
tells consumers which brands use environmentally benign processes
A plan of action adopted by an individual or social group
environmental policy
Laws, rules, and regulations related to an environmental problem that are developed, implemented, and enforced by a particular government agency.
legislative branch
Branch of Gov't charged with creation of new laws.
executive branch
Branch of government that enforces the laws
judicial branch
Branch of government that handles justice and runs the courts.
Environmental Impact Statement
A report required by federal law that assesses the possible effect of a project on the environment if the project is subsidized in whole or part by federal funds.
United Nations
A league of most of the nations of the world that help to regulate world problems and decide upon the outcome of states
European Union
A family of democratic countries committed to working together for peace and prosperity in Europe.
World Trade Organization
An international agency which encourages trade between member nations, administers global trade agreements and resolves disputes when they arise.
world bank
A specialized agency of the United Nations that makes loans to countries for economic development, trade promotion, and debt consolidation.
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's)
Legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government action.
command-and-control approach
An approach that involves the government imposing quantitative limits on the amount of pollution firms are allowed to emit or requiring firms to install specific pollution control devices.
A government payment that supports a business or market.
green taxes
taxes on environmentally harmful activities and products
allows businesses to buy and sell the right to pollute
An attempt by a group to influence the policy process through persuasion of government officials
the amount of a product offered for sale at a given price
A region or area bounded peripherally by a divide and draining ultimately to a particular watercourse or body of water
public policy
A specific course of action taken by government to achieve a public goal.
free rider
A person who receives the benefit of a good but avoids paying for it
A law or set of laws made by a government
The formal instructions that government issues for implementing laws.
regulatory taking
A government regulation that effectively takes land by restricting its use, even if it remains in the owner's name.
fifth amendment
... private property shall not " be taken for public use without just compensation" ....
Clean air act
1963 - regulated automotive and industrial emissions....result of environmental movement
Wilderness Act
1964; established 9.1 million aces of federally-protected wilderness in national forests for use of American people; made minimum size of each space 5,000 acres; no vehicles, permanent camps or structures allowed; aim is to …
Empty Chair Crisis
Solid Waste Disposal Act
1965, 1st federal law that required environmentally sound methods for disposal of household, municipal, commercial, and industrial waste
Wild and Scenic Rivers Act
National Environmental Policy Act
Federal Pesticide Act
Endangered Species Act
Safe Drinking Water Act
Toxic Substance Control Act
Clean Water Act
Compensation and Liability Act "Superfund"
Food Security Act
Rachel Carson
1962 "Silent Spring", sparked a real environmentalist movement: which introduced the adverse environmental effects of DDT and the fact that it would kill the environment and there would be no birds to sing.- a silent spring
Cuyahoga River
1969 : River that flows past Cleveland, Ohio and empties into Lake Erie; caught on fire in 1969 due to a thick layer of pollutants (pg 66)
Environmental Protection Agency EPA 1970 Richard Nixon. An independent federal agency established to coordinate programs aimed at reducing pollution and protecting the environment
customary law
Generally and strongly accepted norms of behavior between states that have existed for a long time, but not necessarily formalized in a written document
conventional law
International law that arises from conventions, or treaties, that nations agree to enter into.
United Nations (UN)
On April 25, 1945, the representatives of 50 nations met in San Francisco to establish this new peacekeeping body. After two months of debate, on June 26, 1945, the delegates signed the charter establishing…
European Union (EU)
27-nation European economic alliance, (syn Common Market) an economic association established in 1957 by a number of Western European countries to promote free trade among its members
World Trade Organization (WTO)
1995, An international agency which encourages trade between member nations, administers global trade agreements and resolves disputes when they arise.
command and control
an approach to protecting the environment that sets strict legal limits and threatens punishment for violations of those limits
permit trading
the practice of buying and selling government-issued marketable emissions allowances to conduct environmentally harmful activities