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

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

by David Schoenbrod
     
 

ISBN-10: 0300119844

ISBN-13: 9780300119848

Pub. Date: 08/15/2006

Publisher: Yale University Press

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

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Overview

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300119848
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
08/15/2006
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface....................ix
1. Introduction: Then and Now....................1
Part I. Power 2. Coming to the Environmental Movement....................19
3. Congress Does Its Thing....................23
4. Leaving the Lead In....................29
5. Failure and Success in Cleaning the Air....................39
6. Growing Power....................52
7. The EPA Today....................59
Part II. Science 8. What's Science Got to Do with It?....................67
9. Lois Swirsky Gold, Chemicals, and Cancer....................74
10. Angus Macbeth and the Hudson River....................84
11. Precaution and Policy....................95
Part III. Our Republic 12. Coming Down to Earth....................105
13. A Government of the People....................115
14. Home Rule....................124
15. Vicki Been and Environmental Justice....................144
16. Legislative Responsibility....................155
Part IV. What We Lose 17. The Rights of Citizens....................169
18. The Boon of Liberty....................181
19. The Appeal of Law....................190
20. The Joy of Doing....................199
21. Conclusion: Spaceship Earth without a Captain....................219
Notes....................233
Acknowledgments....................285
Index....................291

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