Bob Turner                                                             

Associate Professor                                                                                                                      

310 Ladd

Office Hours T-R 2-4:30;  M 2:30-3:30; 


whenever my door is open or by appointment


Environmental Politics and Policy
GO 231
Spring 2014

This course is a broad overview of the politics and policy of U.S. environmental policy making.  Participants will gain an understanding of how environmental issues arrive on the public agenda, the role of political institutions in making environmental policy, the economic, political, and institutional forces that shape policymaking, competing approaches to environmental policy analysis, and the goals and strategies of the environmental movement.  The goal of the class is to help you develop a critical understanding of how environmental policy is made and how it can be improved.

All of the readings are in the GO 231 Environment Policy Reader which will be provided in class.  You should complete the assigned reading and assignment before class. Class will consist of lecture, discussion, and some small group activities.  All students are expected to participate, preferably not at the same time.

            As befitting your status at one of the “New Ivies”, I have high expectations of student performance. Grades will be determined by student performance on all of the following:

·         Midterm 15%, Feb 27

·         Paper #1 Politics paper 20%, Feb 21

·         Paper #2 Science paper 20%, March 29

·         Paper #3 Policy Reform Proposal 20%, May 2

·         Final Exam 25% May 5, 6-9pm

All students should familiarize themselves with the college’s policy on Academic Misconduct and abide by the provisions of the Honor Code.  If you need any academic accommodations, please be sure that you have made your requests for such accommodations to Meg Hegener.  

            A well functioning class that promotes learning requires good attendance.  You are allowed two personal days (absences), after that I will deduct 2.5% from your final grade.  For example, you receive a 90%, but have missed four classes; your final grade is an 85%.  You have an unlimited number of excused absences for illnesses, family crises, etc, though they count against your two absences.  For each of these absences, you must provide written excuse from the Dean of Students’ office. 

If you are not able to arrive before the beginning of the period, regularly do the readings, or meet the due dates for assignments, I encourage you to reconsider your decision to take the class.


Jan 21 Introduction   

Jan 23 Agenda Setting, the Issue Attention Cycle, and Kingdon’s Multiple Streams Theory
** Judith Layzer, “The Nation Tackles Pollution,” in The Environmental Case p. 25-51 
** Anthony Downs, Up and Down with Ecology—the Issue Attention Cycle, The Public Interest, p. 38-50
**Sarah Pralle, Agenda-setting and climate change, Environmental Politics, Volume 18, Issue 5 Sep 2009, p. 781 - 799
** Google and read about “Climate Gate”

Jan 28 Problem Definition/Framing in Theory and Practice 
** Deborah Stone Causal Stories and Policy Agendas, Political Science Quarterly, 1989, 281-300
** Sierra Club, False Advertising, 1-3 
** Patrick J. Michaels, Losing It, American Spectator, December 11, 2006
** Myron Ebell, “Love Global Warming:  What's wrong with mild winters, anyway?” Forbes Dec 8, 2006,  
 -watch Coca-Cola obesity ad

Jan 30 Punctuated Equilibrium or Creative Problem Definition 
** Ingram, Helen and Leah Fraser, Path Dependency and Adroit Innovation:  The Case of California Water, in Punctuated Equilibrium and the Dynamics of US Environmental Policy, 78-109
** Selection of environmental policy area for research project due **

Feb 4 Understanding Gridlock
**McGrory Klyza and Sousa, Creating the Current Institutional Landscape of Environmental Policy-Making, in American Environmental Policy, 1990-2006, Beyond Gridlock.  p. 19-46
**Eugene B. Skolnikoff; The Policy Gridlock On Global Warming.  Foreign Policy; Summer 1990, 
Optional:  Jane May,  Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.  New Yorker, 
Aug 30, 2010.

Feb 6 The President- Assessing the Obama Record
**McGrory Klyza and Sousa, Executive Policy-Making through Statutory Discretion and Rulemaking; New Source Review, in American Environmental Policy, 1990-2006, Beyond Gridlock.
  p. 99-109, 135-152
** Natural Resources Defense Council, Rewriting the Rules: The Bush Administration’s First Term Environmental Record (2005). Download 
**Yale Environment 360 Forum: Assessing Obama’s Record on the Environment
** Activists frustrated at Obama’s environmental record, Christian Science Monitor

Feb 11 Presidential Tools for Influencing the Environment- presentations on Obama's alternative pathways

Constitution, smonstitution – We don’t need no stinking Congress- say the enviros-  and Al, “I am richer than Mitt Romney” Gore-

Mini Case Studies on how Obama is trying to “save the planet” from global warming

What is Obama doing to achieve the goal?

What agency or law is he using to circumvent Congress?

How significant a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions can Obama achieve through this policy?

--How Obama is promoting solar and wind power – google-  obama solar power public land ; obama offshore wind power

-How Obama is reducing carbon emissions from cars- google obama car fuel efficiency

--How Obama is killing coal- google- obama coal mining regulations

-Can Obama regulate coal emissions? 


** Bibliography for first paper due **

Feb 13  Happy Valentines Day- Does Congress Care About the Environment? 
**The Political Scene, “As the World Burns,” The New Yorker, October 11, 2010, p. 70,
**  Daniel J. Weiss, Anatomy of a Senate Climate Bill Death, Center for American Progress, October 12, 2010 
** John M. Broader, With Something for Everyone, Climate Bill Passed, July 1, 2009, New York Times
** Pew Center on Global Climate Change, Climate Debate in Congress, 
Feeling very ambitious- see Theda Skocpol's 196 page report: "Naming the Problem: What It Will Take to Counter Extremism and Engage Americans in the Fight Against Global Warming."  (

Examples of Riders/Budget Politics- 
**David Roberts,  THE BIG MURKOWSKI; Hanging EPA regulations around Democrats’ necks, 20 Jan 2010,

Feb 18 The Courts:  “It is not the stratosphere. It's the troposphere.” 
Rosemary O’Leary, "Environmental Policy in the Courts," in V&K, 148-69
** D. Lithwick,  Benchwarming:  The Supreme Court melts down over greenhouse gasses, Download.
Ambitious? read MASSACHUSETTS, et al., PETITIONERS v. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY et al. and Scalia dissent
**McGrory Klyza and Sousa, From Who Has Standing?” to “Who is Left Standing?” section on Land Use in the Southwest – focus on the Pygmy OWLs
**Introductory paragraph with Thesis due**

** Schedule may change if we can a guest speaker in here.

Feb 20 The States:  Saviors, Shirkers or Somewhere in between?
**Barry Rabe “States on Steroids:  The Intergovernmental Odyssey of American Climate Policy,” Review of 
Policy Research, vol. 25, no. 2 (2008): 105-128
**Barry Rabe, Race to the Top: The Expanding Role of U.S State Renewable Portfolio Standards, Sustainable Development Law and Policy, 
**Jan Ellen Spiegel, Connecticut Mulls Rollback on Clean Energy, New York Times April 8, 2010
**Christa Marshal, Will the Midwest Turn Its Back on Addressing Climate Change?, New York Times, June 4, 2010
**Christa Marshal, Governor Takes N.J. Out of Cap-And-Trade System, New York Times, May 27, 2011

Feb 21, Friday PAPER #1 Political analysis of environmental legislation due (6-8 PAGES)

Feb 25  Political Institutions Catch-Up Day

Feb 27 Midterm

Section III  Environmental Policy 
March 4 Command and Control Regulation
** W. Harrington, Regulating Industrial Water Pollution in the United States, RFF, p. 1-38, Download

**Adler, Jonathan H., Heat Expands All Things: The Proliferation of Greenhouse Gas Regulation Under the Obama Administration (March 11, 2011). Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Forthcoming, p. 11-26 on complexity of regulating GHG


March 6 Can Government Regulate Better?  Experiments in Flexible Regulation
**T. Davis, Reforming Permitting, Executive Summary, Resources for the Future, 2001, Download  

** Bennear, Lori Snyder and Coglianese, Cary, Flexible Environmental Regulation (January 31, 2012). OXFORD HANDBOOK OF U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, Sheldon Kamieniecki and Michael E. Kraft, eds., Oxford University Press, 2012;

--Peruse Obama’s EPA approach to regulation- Improving Our Regulations:  Final Plan for Periodic Retrospective Reviews 
of Existing Regulations

March 11-13 Spring Break, Be Carbon Neutral, Research Global Warming

March 18  Can or Will Corporations Go Green?
** Esty and Winston, Green to Gold, ch 3, Who's Behind the Green Wave 65-99 
** Marc Eisner, From Greed to Green:  Corporate Environmentalism and Management p. 1-33

March 20 Spring Equinox  A Political Economy Perspective on Business  
Buck, Stuart and Yandle, Bruce, Bootleggers, Baptists, and the Global Warming Battle (August 14, 2001).

** Bibliography for Science Paper due **

March 25 Clean Air and Water Act II:  Cost Benefit Analysis and Market Mechanisms
**Sheila Olmstead, Applying Market Principles to Environmental Policy" in V&K

** Robert Goodin, Selling Environmental Injustices p. 237-255


March 27 Cap and Trade versus Carbon Tax Analysis
Ellerman and Harrison, Emissions Trading in the US, Experience, Lessons and Considerations for Greenhouse Gases. Pew Center on Global Climate Change, May 2003
**Putting a Price on Carbon:  An Emissions Cap or a Tax?  Yale Environment 360, May 2009,


April 1 Environmental Justice Debate:  Round I
 ** Robert Bullard, (2005) Environmental Justice in the 21st Century,
** Christopher H. Foreman, Jr, The Clash of Purposes: Environmental Justice and Risk Assessment, Inside Washington's Risk Policy Report 5 (March 20, 1998):34-37, Download 
** Christopher H. Foreman, Jr., A Winning Hand?  The Uncertain Future of Environmental Justice, Spring 1996 Vol. 14 No. 2,   p 22-25 1996 The Brookings Institution. Download
** Foreman Remarks on Environmental Justice US Commission on Civil Rights, Jan 2002 Download
Peruse  and )

April 3 Is Hurricane Katrina an Environmental Justice Issue? :  Round 2
**Robert D. Bullard, Differential Vulnerabilities: Environmental and Economic Inequality and Government Response to Unnatural Disasters, Social Research International Quarterly Journal November 2007.
**Robert Bullard and Beverly Wright, The Power of Race and Place: How and why the predominantly black areas of the Gulf Coast are still struggling to recover from Hurricane Katrina, The American Prospect, February 23, 2009
**Robert Bullard, Let Them Eat Dirt (1-6) 
**Marc Kaufman,  FEMA Flip-Flops Again on Trailers, Washington Post
Peruse the Environmental Justice Resource Center, Katrina Update
 Social Science Research Council’s Katrina Research Hub:

April 8 Policy Catch-up Day

Section IV  Environmental Movement
April 10 Critics, Radicals, Reapers and Apostates
**  David Foreman, Putting the Earth First, p. 358-364
**  M. DowieLosing Ground: American Environmentalism at the Close of the Twentieth Century (MIT Press, 1995), 29-49. 
**  James Gustave Speth, Environmental Failure: A Case for a New Green Politics, Yale Environment 360 Oct 20, 2008 
**  Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, The Death of Environmentalism:  Global warming politics in a post-environmental world, 13 Jan 2005, Download

April 15 The Failure of "the Polite Revolution" Strategy 
Petra Bartosiewicz and Marissa Miley, The Too Polite Revolution:  Why the Recent Campaign to Pass Comprehensive Climate Legislation in the US Failed, 1-96.    

April 17 The Environmental Movement- “I’m not dead yet.  I’m feeling much better.”
** Christopher Bosso, Environmental Inc.  From Grassroots to Beltway; p. 48-118.

April 22 The New Environmental Movement?
** Robert Duffy, The Green Agenda in American Politics, Chs 4 ,5 ,7 (82-163, 196-210)

April 24 Conclusion- Green Drift? 
**Christopher Mcgrory Klyza and David Sousa, Beyond Gridlock: Green Drift in American Environmental Policymaking , Political Science Quarterly Volume 125 Number 3 2010

April 29  Extra Day 

May 2, Paper #3 Policy Reform Proposal (6-8 pages) Due, my birthday

May 5, Final Exam 6-9pm, Tisch 302