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Pollution Control Issues - Essay Example

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Author Name Assignment Subject Application Paper # 1: Issue Networks Introduction The policy area of pollution control is rather interesting in discussing the socio-political significance of the two major political scientific applications…
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Pollution Control Issues
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Download file to see previous pages Introduction to Policy Area Pollution control is a major policy area of not only national but also global importance. We generally agree that pollution of land, water, and air should be controlled. But when it is the question of designing these controls or ascertaining that how much control is sufficient, major disagreements begin to surface. In this regard, Crandall states, “In 1970, popular concern about environmental degradation coalesced into a major political force, resulting in President Richard Nixon’s creation of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the first of the major federal attempts to regulate pollution directly—the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1970.” With the lapse of time, the federal government took several regulatory majors through the EPA. Non government organizations, research organizations, civil activists, etc. also got involved in the process. The contemporary trend in this policy area is to consider market based methods and strategies for pollution control. According to many legislators and lobbyists, the traditional command and control model is not working effectively enough. Classic Iron Triangle Structure Before describing what the classic iron triangle in the context of pollution control would look like, let’s focus on the concept of iron triangle itself. In U.S. politics, iron triangle defines the threefold interaction between the congressional committees, the interest groups, and the governmental agencies. Clientele directed executive functionary mechanism is the main characteristic of iron triangle, which may harm or neglect the greater public interest and provide benefit to the interest groups that are mainly formed of powerful corporate bodies (Hix, 251). The diagram below represents the iron triangle in the sphere of pollution control policy area. In the case of the policy area of pollution control, at one corner of the triangle will be the U.S. Congress Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which is a major congressional committee that provides oversight and funds. On the other corner, there will be the EPA, which is a part of bureaucracy, or in other words, the executive of the governmental agencies. At the third corner, there will be the interest groups, which are major corporate bodies, particularly the energy and chemical giants. Significance of Issue Networks Issue networks can be defined as allied structures of several individuals and interest groups that attempt to promote an issue in the federal policy making and think tank. Landy and Milkis think that issue networks are instrumental in balancing rights and democracy vis-a-vis the political tradition and formation of sub-government of iron triangles. Issue networks are a sort of fluid mechanism that would provide the constituency of general public a practical and supple organization, which can accelerate a sustained civil action. In the context of pollution control we can say that the powerful corporations pursue the Congress members and EPA to loosen the regulations so that less money can be invested to obtain improved pollution controlling technologies that are relatively costlier or call for industrial unit replacements. Pollution control issue network can become a contextual counterbalancing factor, where people will have voice. Research organizations, civil activists, non government agencies, independent observers, social ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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