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Saving Our Environment from Washington

How Congress Grabs Power, Shirks Responsibility, and Shortchanges the People


David Schoenbrod (View Bio)
Hardcover: Yale University Press, 2005.

Saving Our Environment from Washington

"If you're wondering why this nation's environmental laws aren't implemented coherently or consistently, grab David Schoenbrod's latest, SAVING OUR ENVIRONMENT FROM WASHINGTON. From a Natural Resources Defense attorney turned Yale law professor, the book is part memoir, part manifesto. And considering the potentially boring topic, Schoenbrod does an excellent job of explaining how laws such as the Clean Air Act came into being, what's happened to them in the past 35 years, and how they could be more effective…. Schoenbrod takes a long view of the agency—and his often-surprising perspectives prevent this book from becoming a Red versus Blue look at environmental protection…. What keeps this book from becoming a rant is Schoenbrod's basic optimism: In the end, it will be ordinary people, holding their lawmakers accountable, who protect the environment. " — High Country News

"It's always an ambitious task to argue that a seemingly technical abuse of the Constitution is responsible for much of what is wrong with American democracy. Yet David Schoenbrod more than meets the challenge in SAVING OUR ENVIRONMENT FROM WASHINGTON. With personal anecdote and scientific fact, Mr. 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... The striking aspect of his new book is the story he tells of his own journey from supporter to critic of the Spaceship Earth theory of environmental law." — John Berlau, The Wall Street Journal

"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

"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

"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, Resources for the Future

"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

"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, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution

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