The crisis of the Santa Barbara offshore oil spill in 1969 led to the passage of radically new environmental laws that made the United States an international leader in environmental protection at the time. Since then, environmental regulation has proved detrimental to both industrial and environmental performance. It contributed to a deepening confrontation between environmental and industrial groups, a rift which spread to other areas of politics and society. This book traces the origin of the current conflict and carefully analyzes current environmental and resource policy. Other advanced nations, especially in the EU, evolved more sophisticated and cooperative policies. These have led to high environmental quality and have permitted the EU to lead in global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, the environmental regulatory policies have fostered robust industrial and fiscal performance. Americans know something has gone wrong in the U.S. The book's candid comparison of U.S. and EU policies yields fresh perspectives on sources of U.S. dilemmas in energy policy, Congressional lawmaking, and other areas of concern.

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