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Saving Our Environment from Washington: How Congress Grabs Power, Shirks Responsibility and Shortchanges People

By: David Schoenbrod

224 pages, 7 b/w illus, 1 graph

Yale University Press

Paperback | Sep 2006 | #164126 | ISBN: 0300119844
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £12.50 $16/€15 approx
Hardback | Dec 2005 | #152581 | ISBN: 0300106211
Out of Print Details

About this book

Trumpet blast against the pork barrel environmentalism of Capitol Hill, by the former attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, a leading US NGO.

A veteran environmentalist tells vivid tales of the environmental wars and arrives at a surprising conclusion

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.

David Schoenbrod is professor, New York Law School, and adjunct scholar, Cato Institute. During his tenure as an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, he initiated litigation to force the EPA to reduce lead in gasoline and other environmental cases of particular importance to minorities and the poor.

"Schoenbrod succeeds admirably in presenting a provocative analysis of the contemporary state of environmental law and policy. He makes a strong challenge to conventional wisdom."--Richard B. Stewart, School of Law, Center on Environment and Land Use Law, New York University and former chairman of the board, Environmental Defense Fund

"Schoenbrod argues that power should flow away from environmental regulators in Washington and toward state legislators. Even where I disagree with him, his arguments are elegant and forced me to think hard. This is what good books do, of course!"--Paul Portney, President, Resources for the Future

"Schoenbrod fills the void between extreme arguments on both sides of environmental policy debates. His book advances the cause of more reasoned discussion in the nearly empty middle."--James L. Huffman, Dean, Lewis & Clark Law School

"An important and original contribution to the national debate on environmental policy. Schoenbrod's rich and varied personal experience in the field powerfully brings home the policy issues he addresses."--Gary Marchant, Center for the Study of Law, Science, and Technology, Arizona State University

"David Schoenbrod's vivid writing has made a difficult subject come alive. Regardless of your position on the environment--and I am not in total accord with him--his supporting arguments deserve extended discussion."--Edward I. Koch, former mayor, New York City

"This insider's voyage through the history of environmental protection is filled with surprise and human interest. After exposing the failures of this opaque regulatory world, Schoenbrod argues for local input and control to achieve better environmental stewardship."--Philip K. Howard, author of The Death of Common Sense

"A terrific, albeit disturbing, read. Only someone with Schoenbrod's unique combination of legal, political and practical expertise could write so insightfully about environmental politics."--Morris P. Fiorina, Wendt Family Professor of Political Science, Stanford University

A terrific, albeit disturbing, read. Only someone with Schoenbrod's unique combination of legal, political and practical expertise could write so insightfully about environmental politics. Morris P. Fiorina, Stanford University "Schoenbrod makes a compelling case that, by delegating lawmaking responsibility to government agencies, Congress has imposed huge costs on the economy and bad choices on the environment." John Berlau, Wall Street Journal "An important and original contribution to the national debate on environmental policy. Schoenbrod's rich and varied personal experience in the field powerfully brings home the policy issues he addresses." Gary Marchant, Center for the Study of Law, Science, and Technology, Arizona State University"


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Biography

David Schoenbrod is professor, New York Law School, and senior fellow at the Cato Institute. He is also the author of Power Without Responsibility: How Congress Abuses the People Through Delegation and coauthor of Democracy by Decree: What Happens When Courts Run Government, both published by Yale University Press.

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