The Evolution of Public Policy: Cars and the Environment

The Evolution of Public Policy: Cars and the Environment

The Evolution of Public Policy: Cars and the Environment

The Evolution of Public Policy: Cars and the Environment

Synopsis

A political scientist and two regional economists from Towson University trace the employee commute option through its stages from initial idea through enactment and implementation to evaluation and reformulation. The 1990 law mandated that large companies in metropolitan areas with severe ozone pollution reduce the number of their employees who drive to work alone. The analysis integrates the policy cycle model and the advocacy coalition framework. Paper edition (unseen), $19.95. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Excerpt

Like it or not, our beloved car is an irksome source of pollution, urban congestion, and excessive fossil-fuel consumption. I am no Greenpeacer, but …

—Brock Yates (1988)

The above statement, written in 1988 by a columnist for Car and Driver, a magazine popular among motorists, reflected the growing recognition among many segments of society that the American love affair with the automobile needed reexamining. A year later, an editorial in Sport Truck conceded that “even if performance has to be compromised by clean air legislation, we are just going to have to bite the bullet. Because when our enthusiasm butts heads with our health, something has to give” (1989, 18). It was in this atmosphere of renewed interest in the linkage between cars and the environment that the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA-90) emerged. Although this linkage is still heavily informed by the belief that technology can produce cars that are friendlier to the environment, there is growing realization that behavioral changes will also be needed. In 1990, Congress agreed with environmentalists and defined solo commuting as environmentally harmful behavior. The CAAA-90 mandated that large companies in metropolitan areas with severe ozone pollution should reduce the number of their employees who drive alone to work. This mandate, the employee commute options (ECO), seemed simple and logical but soon proved to be anything but. Asking people to leave their beloved cars at home was tantamount to heresy, but the Clean Air Act did just that.

In this book, we attempt to analyze the policy process and understand what happened when government tried to get citizens to stop driving so . . .

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