Environmental Policy Final

Why do we need policy?
Social NormsEquityEnvironmental JusticeImperfect InformationExternalitiesPublic GoodsCommon-Pool Resource
What evidence is needed for policy change?
Evidence of a problemAvailable policies to deal with the problemPolitical willingness to act
What is the brief background on US environmental policy? 
Pre-1970: Limited federal involvement1970s: Major federal initiatives1990s-present: More complex relationships, changing priorities
Need for Policy Market FailuresSocial Norms/Goods
Market Failures:ExternalitiesPublic goods-nonrival and nonexclusiveLack of informationCommon property resources Social norms/goods:Equity-progressive vs. regressive policiesSocial normsEnvironmental justice
What is the commons?
A resource that is available to some if not all of the publicUsing the resoruce will take away from someone else”cattle example”-Hardin
Hardin v. Ostrom
Hardin: Fierce intervention is needed because people have the freedom to breed “Freedom in the commons brings ruin to all” Ostrom: Too much government involvement can ruin a system that was working “Tragedy of the commons is real, but not inevitable”
Policy Tools
Command and control (direct regulation)Tradable permits (cap and trade)Taxes and subsidiesInformation/educational campaignsVoluntary agreementsStatus quo 
Unofficial Stakeholders
IndividualsInterest groupsThink tanksResearch organizationsNon-governmental organizationsCommunications media
Resultsof the Clear Air Act Ammendments (CAAA)
Acid rain concentrations dropped dramatically
Examples of Taxes for Policy Tools
User fees, fishing and hunting licenses, gas taxes, emissions taxes
Information/Educational Campaigns as policy tools
Labeling standards on food products: “certified organic”, “fair trade”, “no preservatives” Energy STAR label Country of Origin labeling
Example of voluntary agreements as Policy Tools
33/50 program with EPA:Using a baseline in 1988, the goal was to reduce emissions by 33% by 1992, and then 50% by 1994
Basic Policy Analysis (Sawicki)
Define the ProblemEstablish Evaluative CriteriaIdentify Alternative PoliciesEvaluate Alternative PoliciesDisplay and Select Among AlternativesImplementationMonitor and Evaluate Outcomes
What is needed in the Policy Analysis Matrix?
Need to consider all policy alternativesNeed to include “status quo” or “no-action” alternative”All criteria that will be considered
What are some emerging policy issues?
Growing populations in arid regions Over-appropriated water resources/need for policy change Uncertainty about future availability Improved understanding of ecological results of water diversions
Explain the LB 962
Requires NRDs and the DNR to be more proactive in anticipating water conflicts Addressses how to better manage and reduce use in over/fully appropriated areas Requires the designation of hydrologically connected water
What determines the value of water?
Time (season)Location (Phoenix v.

Atlanta)Quality (urban v. rural)

Use/Non-use values of water
Use: travel cost, how much more money woudl people be willing to spend if there was more water in the lake? Non-use values: How many people are willing to pay to improve fish habitat by increasing stream flow?
What are some reasons for soil conservation?
Run-off sediment affects water qualityDust stormsRemoval of productive top soil
Why did the Dust Bowl occur?
Land expansion left little vegetationSoil was exposed1930s drought reduced soil moisture
Describe the Shelterbelt Project:
Implemented as a result of the Dust BowlPlanted about 18,600 miles of shelterbeltsTrees were able to control windsExtra vegetation helped hold down the soil
What were some priorities of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program?
Water qualityGround and surface water conservationAir qualitySoil erosion and sedimentation reductionWildlife habitat for at-risk species
Why was there a Clean Water Quality Act in 1972?What were some of the results?
40% of waterways are not up to federal standardsDifference between nonpoint sources and point sourcesGreater federal role (setting standards, EPA permits)
What were some of the goals of the Clean Water Act?
“to restore the integrity of the Nation’s waters””fishable and swimmable waters””zero discharge of pollutants””eliminate the release of toxics in toxic amounts” 
What are some water quality concerns?
Organic pollutants-consume oxygen in water-lead to reduced dissolved oxygen and higher biological oxygen demand-reduce ability to support aquatic life
Point Source
Can be linked to a single facility: paper mill, waste treatment plantPermit required under CWA
Nonpoint Source
Run-off from a field or open land areaCannot be linked to a single land ownerNot regulated under CWAGenerally managed with voluntary subsidy programs
Endangered Species Act
Protects all species and the ecosystems they depend onListed by individual or organizational request 
What is the Noah problem?
Limited space to hold all speciesHow to choose which species to tend to?-most valuable/highest social benefits-most at-risk-most diverse
Why target payments?
Agencies have a limited budget for conservation programsMoney should be spent so that it provides the most environmental benefit possible
Types of policies to reduce deforestation
Development of property rightsTaxes on unsustainable forest productsGovernment monitoringLand reformIncentives to use more sustainable agricultural practicesIncreased recycling or reduced demand for wood products

Why does gridlock occur with environmental policy?

Divergent policy viewsSeperated power and bicameralismComplexity of environmental problemsLack of public consensusInfluence of organized groupsIneffectual political leadership


Major Federal Action Significantly Affecting the Quality of the Human Environment then Environmental Impact Statement

Types of Policies protecting forests in Costa Rica
Debt-for-nature agreementsTradable carbon dioxide permitsBio-prospecting feesEcotourismWatershed chargesWorld Bank Ecomarkets program
Criteria for climate policy evaltuation 
Environmental outcomeCost effectivenessDistributional equityFlexibilityParticipation and compliance