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Environmental Politics and Policy

Environmental Politics and Policy

11th Edition

July 2019 | 352 pages | CQ Press
Walter A. Rosenbaum’s classic Environmental Politics and Policy provides definitive coverage of environmental politics and policy, lively case material, and a balanced assessment of current environmental issues. The first half of the book sets needed context and describes the policy process while the second half covers specific environmental issues such as air and water; toxic and hazardous substances; energy; and a global policymaking chapter focused on climate change and trans-boundary politics. The eleventh edition includes updates on the Trump administration's initiatives and controversies with regard to environmental policy, offering the currency and relevancy needed for any environmental politics course.

Figures, Tables, Boxes, and Maps
About the Author
Chapter 1 • After Earth Day
“Frack, Baby, Frack”

America’s Environmental Legacy

The Evolution of U.S. Environmentalism

Ongoing Challenges: Present and Future

Plan for the Book


Suggested Readings


Chapter 2 • Making Policy: The Process
Protecting the Bee: The Pathways of Policy

The Policy Cycle

Constitutional Constraints


Interest Group Politics

The Environmental Movement: Confronting the Challenge of Change

Environmentalism and Its Critics

The Public and Environmentalism

The Special Place of Science in Policymaking


Suggested Readings


Chapter 3 • Making Policy: Governmental Institutions and Politics
The Water War Called WOTUS

The Presidency

Congress: Too Much Check, Too Little Balance

The Bureaucracy: Power Through Implementation

The Courts: The Role of Appraisal

The Political Environment of Environmental Policymaking


Suggested Readings


Chapter 4 • Common Policy Challenges: Risk Assessment and Environmental Justice
A Toxic Nightmare From Toyland?

Risk Assessment and the Limits of Science

What Risks Are Acceptable?

Risk Assessment Reconsidered: The Precautionary Principle

Risk and Discrimination: The Problem of Environmental Justice


Suggested Readings


Chapter 5 • More Choice: The Battle Over Regulatory Economics
The Benefit–Cost Debate

Regulation Strategies: Command and Control Versus the Marketplace


Suggested Readings


Chapter 6 • Command and Control in Action: Air and Water Pollution Regulation
The Politics of Command-and-Control Regulation

Regulating Air Quality

Current Controversies in Air-Quality Regulation

Regulating Water Quality


Suggested Readings


Chapter 7 • A Regulatory Thicket: Toxic and Hazardous Substances
Toxic and Expensive: The Stringfellow Waste Site

The Growth of Federal Toxics Regulation

Federal Law: Toxics Regulation From the Cradle to the Grave?


Suggested Readings


Chapter 8 • Energy: America’s Energy Politics in Transformation
The Foundation: A Fossil Fuel Nation

Natural Gas and the Gas “Boom”

Coal: The Promise and Perils of Abundance

Fossil Fuel Alternatives: Nuclear Power and Renewable Energy


Suggested Readings


Chapter 9 • 635 Million Acres of Politics: The Contested Resources of Public Lands
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Public Land Politics at a Boil

The Department in the Middle

The Public Lands

Conflicts Over Multiple Use

The Fate of the Forests

How Much Wilderness Is Enough?


Suggested Readings


Chapter 10 • The Politics and Policy of Global Climate Change
Science and Climate Warming

The Domestic Politics of Climate Change

The Difficult Quest for an International Climate Agreement

Deadlock Over Domestic Climate Emission Controls

The Clouded Future of U.S. Climate Policy


Suggested Readings


List of Abbreviations

Environmental Politics and Policy is the most engaging book for teaching U.S. Environmental Policy, and the best way to teach the process of making policy.”

Ninian R. Stein
Tufts University

“[The text] provides a good overview of domestic environmental policymaking at the federal level. The book fits nicely into my style/format of teaching the course.”

Robert Holahan
Binghamton University
Key features


  • Coverage of the environmental record of the new Trump Administration and the impact of the changes created in every major area of national environmental policy.
  • Historical narratives have been condensed and refocused on contemporary events within the last two decades.
  • New case studies have been added, illustrating environmental justice issues in the pollution of drinking water in Flint and the controversy around designating bumble bees as an endangered species. All case studies have been updated for currency.
  • A chapter on climate warming has been scientifically and politically updated.


  • A balanced assessment of current environmental issues helps readers understand key issues and controversies.
  • Lively case material shows readers how environmental policy and politics plays out in the real world.
  • Updated tables and figures illustrate key environmental information.
  • A detailed timeline frames the initial chapter's historical narrative of evolving environmental policy. 

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1: After Earth Day

Chapter 2: Making Policy: The Process

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