Environmental Federalism: A View from the United States

Encyclopedia of Environmental Law: Environmental Decisionmaking (Robert Glicksman et al. eds., 2015, Forthcoming

Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 15-28

15 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2015

See all articles by Kirsten H. Engel

Kirsten H. Engel

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law

Date Written: July 22, 2015

Abstract

Since Congress exploded onto the scene in the 1970s with several major pieces of environmental legislation, federalism has been a fixture of environmental policy debates. Prior to this time, environmental regulation had been left largely to state and local control. Since then, scholars and policymakers have debated the justifications for a strong federal role and the manner that authority should be allocated between states and the federal government. Scholars have divided more or less into two camps, those that support allocations designed to achieve efficiency according to models of perfect competition, and those identifying benefits of a more dynamic and overlapping relationship between state and federal authorities. Interestingly, the actual practice of environmental federalism, as seen in the major federal environmental statutes, has tended not to follow either model exactly. Recent indications, however, signal a trend toward the dynamic model. A case in point is the duplication, overlap and incorporation of state-­level climate change policy into federal law.

Keywords: Environment, federalism, environmental federalism, efficiency, interstate competition, dynamic, climate change, environmental policy, environmental regulation, states and local governments

Suggested Citation

Engel, Kirsten H., Environmental Federalism: A View from the United States (July 22, 2015). Encyclopedia of Environmental Law: Environmental Decisionmaking (Robert Glicksman et al. eds., 2015, Forthcoming; Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 15-28. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2638554

Kirsten H. Engel (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States
520-621-5444 (Phone)

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