Breaking the Environmental Policy Gridlock

edited by Terry Anderson
Friday, January 24, 1997

Although the U.S. Congress has made progress toward fundamental change in economic and social programs. It remains gridlocked when it comes to creating needed environmental policy reform. This book shows how policymakers and opinion leader's can break that gridlock and offers specific policy recommendations that will be palatable to voters across the political spectrum.

The 104th Congress set out to rewrite environmental laws, recognizing that they were expensive to administer, fraught with litigation, and ineffective in achieving their objectives. Despite an overwhelming consensus that such reform is necessary, Congress has produced more political rhetoric than actual programs. Worse, polls have shown that voters do not trust Washington politicians to take care of the environment.

The contributions to this volume demonstrate how the principles of fiscal responsibility and individual accountability that have been applied to economic and social policies—essentially free market principles—can be applied successfully to environmental polciy. The authors offer ten commonsense reforms as starting point, all based on the compelling arguments that a new system of positive incentives can get us more environmental quality at lower cost. These reforms include

  • Land lease programs for nontraditional commodity production
  • Long-term transferable land permits
  • Landowner compensation for regulated endangered species property
  • Performance-based (as opposed to technology-based) water and air polliution laws.

Breaking the Environmental Policy Gridlock shows how it is possible, today, to muster a coalition for new environmental programs.

Copyright 1997.