Protecting the Environment in an Era of Federal Retreat: The View from New York City

30 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2017 Last revised: 6 Apr 2019

See all articles by Rebecca M. Bratspies

Rebecca M. Bratspies

City University of New York - School of Law

Date Written: December 1, 2017

Abstract

Since its earliest days during the Nixon administration, environmental law has been built on federalism — on the notion that our nation’s shared air, water and ecosystems were best and most effectively protected by standards set on a national scale and enforced on more local levels. Yet that long-standing pattern has been turned on its head. The United States currently faces not just retreat, but outright hostility to environmental regulation on the federal level.

What will happen to environmental law now depends, in part, on the choices that America’s cities make about how to manage their environmental footprints, even in the absence of federal leadership. New York City's political leaders are rapidly positioning themselves to play a key role in in driving national and global action to combat climate change and environmental racism. Where the federal government has backed away, New York City has stepped forward. This paper will describe some of those efforts.

Keywords: New York City, Climate Change, sustainability, resilience, Environment, Federalism, Environmental Protection, Urban, Environmental Justice, public transportation, subway, retrofit, solar energy, clean power

JEL Classification: K10, K32, O18, O38, O44, Q56, Q53, Q54, Q58, R11, R58

Suggested Citation

Bratspies, Rebecca M., Protecting the Environment in an Era of Federal Retreat: The View from New York City (December 1, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3088038 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3088038

Rebecca M. Bratspies (Contact Author)

City University of New York - School of Law ( email )

2 Court Square
Long Island City, NY 11101
United States

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