Thursday, December 20, 2007

State Experimentation and the EPA

This article in the LA Times amused me.

Favorite quote: Environmental Protection Agency administrator Stephen L. Johnson's "a confusing patchwork of state rules". It's called federalism, people, and it's the point! States are SUPPOSED to experiment with policies in order to find what works best for them (keeping the national minimums/maximums in mind). California has a lot more cars and pollution than most of the rest of the county (LA tops the
American Lung Association's lists for both short- and long-term particle pollution), so thats why they feel they need stricter emissions standards. Moreover, state experimentation allows the rest of the country to get a sense of which policies work and which don't, so that citizens can then push to adopt or adapt them for legislation at the state or the national level. Having done no research on this, I'm pretty sure California has long led the way on pollution standards, and is part of the reason why we have the standards in place that we do now.

Besides, as Dean Baker points out at the American Prospect, you can keep track of it with an Excel spreadsheet.

For further reading on the subject, Publius: The Journal of Federalism (we're an original lot aren't we?) is offering free access to "Environmental Policy and the Bush Era: The Collision Between the Administrative Presidency and State Experimentation", an article from their special edition, US Federalism and the Bush Administration.

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