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Environmental Politics and Policy

Environmental Politics and Policy

Twelfth Edition

October 2022 | 352 pages | CQ Press
Walter A. Rosenbaum's classic Environmental Politics and Policy, Twelfth Edition, provides definitive coverage of environmental politics and policy, lively case material, and a balanced assessment of current environmental issues. The newly streamlined 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 global policymaking on issues like climate change and trans-boundary politics. The Twelfth Edition includes updated case studies and a look at the transition in environmental policies between the Trump and Biden administrations, offering students a current and relevant look at the continuing challenge of reconciling sound science with practical politics.

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


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


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


Chapter 4: Common Policy Challenges
Risk Assessment and Environmental Justice

A Toxic Nightmare From Toyland?

Risk Assessment and the Limits of Science

Risk Assessment Reconsidered: The Precautionary Principle

Risk and Discrimination: The Problem of Environmental Justice


Chapter 5: More Choice
The Battle Over Regulatory Economics

The Benefit–Cost Debate

Regulation Strategies: Command and Control Versus the Marketplace


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

Drinking Water


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?


Chapter 8: Energy
America’s Energy Politics in Transformation

The Foundation: A Fossil Fuel Nation

Petroleum: A Revived Economy

Natural Gas and the Gas “Boom”

Coal: The Promise and Perils of Abundance

Fossil Fuel Alternatives: Nuclear Power and Renewable Energy


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?


Chapter 10: The Politics and Policy of Global Climate Change
A New Era of Climate Policy

Science and Climate Warming

The U.S. National Climate Assessment

The Domestic Politics of Climate Change

The Difficult Quest for an International Climate Agreement

Deadlock Over Domestic Climate Emission Controls

The Uncertain Future of U.S. Climate Policy


List of Abbreviations
Key features


  • New discussion of the transformation in environmental policy between the Trump and Biden administrations, with analysis of the resulting consequences.
  • A newly reorganized and streamlined first half of the book more clearly illustrates the essential components of the policymaking process.
  • Comprehensively updated case studies and other examples throughout the book bring contemporary issues into focus.


  • 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. 

For instructors

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