Clean Coal/Dirty Air


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or How the Clean Air Act Became a Multibillion-Dollar Bail-Out for High-Sulfur Coal Producers

Bruce Ackerman and William T. Hassler

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A pioneering study of dynamics of politics and technocracy that generated mistaken policies that still haunt environmental law today.

"This is an excellent book that goes a long way to spell out relevant issues. It begins to suggest that asking the right question mean a need for planning. The question is, how does planning fit our feral system?"—Guy Benveniste, Political Science Quarterly

"The authors write to be heard. . . . The book is meticulously researched—drawing heavily on EPA documents—and tells a gripping story. . . . The authors skillfully weave a good deal of local color and detail into their narrative in the service of their major points."—Stanford Law Review

"An interesting and informative analysis of several crucial issues that dominated policy debate in this area. . . . Of considerable interest to students of American public policy."—Dieter Matthes, The American Political Science Review

"Clean Coal/Dirty Air is a condemnation of almost everyone involved in influencing, writing, promulgating, interpreting, and enforcing the Clean Air Act. This treatise, authored by lawyers and highly critical of the legal regulatory procedure, is stimulating reading. . . . Divided into two major parts, the book provides an excellent analytical prospectus of the development of the Act, starting with the political view and then giving the technical arguments for and against flue gas scrubbing."—Norman B. Smith, Science Books and Films

"Ackerman and Hassler have excellent recommendations for reform in the areas of the clean air objectives. . . . The study is important. Every member of Congress should be required to read [this book]."—Law Books in Review

"A case study that penetrates and unravels the bureaucratic tangle that followed the passage of the Clean Air Act of 1970 and teaches us a great deal about the intricacies of environmental regulation. . . . A valuable analysis of the subtle relationships between policy formation and bureaucratic execution."—Robert J. Steamer, Perspective

"The authors have a marvelous, albeit sorry, story to tell, and they tell it in a manner accessible to the beginning student and lay reader. . . . It would be excellent background reading for beginning and advanced students in environmental and resource economics, especially those with an appreciation of political economy. As a case study of the current ills of environmental policymaking, this book deserves to be widely read."—Jon P. Nelson, The Southern Economic Journal

"A fascinating book . . . must reading for all who are interested in coal, air pollution and the Clean Air Acts; but it is also highly recommended to students of environmentalism . . . [Ackerman] is a scholar who has meticulously done his homework and masterfully recounts the results."—Access to Energy

"This is a fascinating, lucid, and cautionary policy-analysis study, abounding with stimulating insights into congressional, bureaucratic, and interest-group actors and processes. It startlingly reveals how imperfectly scientific and technological knowledge is mobilized for decision making, provocatively questions the rationality for prescriptive, agency-forcing statutes, and illumines the trade-off between short-term and long-term goals—all problems that will not soon go away."—James W. Fesler, Yale University

"By piercing the mythology of the Clean Air Act, Professor Ackerman has done us all a service. This book is essential reading for anyone who is interested in the reality, not the theory, of how the nation's laws are written."—Pete V. Domenici, U.S. Senator

"This book is a scalpel which cuts to the heart of one of our energy dilemmas"—Stewart L. Udall

"I have never seen anything that portrays so well the interlocking sins of special interest groups and elements of the bureaucracy."—Henry J. Friendly, Senior Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

"A persuasive analysis showing how . . . environmental lobbies can say they protected people against pollution that they themselves have helped to create."—Aaron Wildavsky, professor of political science, University of California, Berkeley
ISBN: 9780300026436
Publication Date: September 10, 1981
196 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
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