Relative Administrability, Conservatives, and Environmental Regulatory Reform
66 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2015 Last revised: 23 Jun 2017
Date Written: August 30, 2015
Both critics and supporters of federal environmental law have called for its reform. Conservative scholars and policy makers in particular have called for reform due to the size, scope, and cost of the federal environmental bureaucracy. To date, however, conservatives have implemented few successful alternative environmental protection policies addressing the subject matter of federal regulation. This Article argues that greater use of geographic-delineation policies at the state and local level offers an important opportunity to reduce the size, scope, and cost of the federal environmental bureaucracy, while at the same time achieving the environmental gains sought by the staunchest supporters of federal environmental law. To date, most conservative scholars and policy makers have not been supportive of these long-available policies, rendering them largely unutilized—contributing to the growth of federal environmental intervention. This Article argues that geographic-delineation policies implemented at the state and local level are actually consistent with a number of the most valued principles of conservatism, primarily because of their high “relative administrability” when compared to federal statutes. That is, the administration of these policies achieves the most environmental gain at the lowest cost, and geographic delineations implemented through state and local land-use planning offer the best hope for conservatives who would see the nation’s system of environmental laws reformed.
Keywords: Federalism, Growth Boundaries, Buffer Zone, Administrative Cost, Environmental Regulatory Reform
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