A Positive Political Economic Theory of Environmental Federalization

71 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2015

See all articles by Jason Scott Johnston

Jason Scott Johnston

University of Virginia School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

This Article sets out a positive theory that explains the late twentieth-century federalization of American environmental law. On this theory, federalization occurred not because states had failed to regulate to reduce air and water pollution, but because older and heavily developed states moving toward such regulation gained a relative competitive advantage by imposing minimum standards on less developed and less polluted states (in the case of air), and by receiving subsidies from such regions (for water pollution reduction). The failure of federalization in the case of climate change is directly explained by this theory: the majority of states would be certain short and medium term net losers from such legislation.

Keywords: political economy, environmental federalism, environmental federalization, regulatory centralization, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, U.S. climate legislation

Suggested Citation

Johnston, Jason Scott, A Positive Political Economic Theory of Environmental Federalization (2014). Case Western Reserve Law Review, Vol. 64, No. 4, 2014, Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 21, Virginia Law and Economics Research Paper No. 9, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2593127

Jason Scott Johnston (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

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Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

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United States

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