The Federalism Project

American Enterprise Institute

The Federalism Project
Environmental Policy

Environmentalism and Federalism Roundtable September 2001

In the Fall of 2001, the Federalism Project hosted a roundtable discussion on Case Western Reserve University Law School Professor Jonathan Adler’s “Let Fifty Flowers Bloom: Turning States into Laboratories for Environmental Policy.” Becky Norton Dunlop, Vice President for External Relations at Heritage Foundation, served as respondent.

Professor Adler argues in his paper that the federal environmental regulation regime is in dire need of reform. Current approaches, he argues, “exhibit most of the failings of Soviet-style command-and-control systems.” His solution: decentralization through federal legislation to enable states to obtain waivers from federal laws governing the goals and standards of environmental regulation. With congressional encouragement, states could become laboratories for environmental policy, competing with one another to devise efficient, creative solutions to ecological problems.  

Click here for Professor Adler's paper (PDF), here for event transcript (PDF)