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Chapter 7

ENSP 102 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Environmental Policy, Natural Resource

Environmental Science and Policy
Course Code
ENSP 102

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Evaluating Environmental Policy
Policy Evaluation
Governent budget remains scarce
Best evaluations gather extensive scientific data, analyze results objectively
Most focus on outcomes, which are distinguished from outputs
Outcomes: actual effects of public policies on environmental conditions
Outputs: agency decisions made under the law
Examining decision making and institutions
process/institutional evaluations: focuses on both environemntal outcomes and
decision making processes
Signs of progress
Example: air pollution control and the Clean Air Act
Natural resource policies
Data assessment and public dialogue
Costs, benefits, and risks
Alternative approaches that have a lower cost to society:
Market incentives
Providing greater flexibility to industry and state and local governments
Important costs and benefits may be omitted from calculations
Trade offs are more apparent as environmental policy becomes more and
more at a marginal level
Comparative risk assessment: helath and enviornmental risks are ranked to allow
for the setting of policy priorities
Some efforts can withstand a harsh risk assessment
Controversies exist over cost-benefit analysis and risk assessments
Benefits are typically harder to estimate that costs
Costs imposed on industry may be easy to identify and may be easier to
Must be recognized as providing only one kind of information to consider in
making environmental policy decisions
Jobs, the economy, and the environment
Critics claim that environmental regulation:
slows the rate of economic growth
Costs jobs
Makes the population worse off
Most regulations create and cost jobs as businesses adapt to new agency
Job losses suffered at closed coal-fired power plants are more than offset by
investmenets in renewable energy and productivity gains
Environmental policies increase inflation and decrease productivity only very
Led to a net increase in employment
Reforming environmental regulation
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