Investigating Critical Policy Updates in the United States

The United States faces a multitude of environmental issues today; we work actively to try and create preventative or reactive policies to deal with them. However, the context specific nature of creating environmental policies makes it enormously difficult to find perfect solutions. Many policies enacted by the U.S. are subject to a large amount of criticism, whether due to the ethics or feasibility of their implementation, or the unintended costs/consequences that arose. Perhaps one criticism is that a policy is simply outdated and cannot keep up with the current state of the environmental problem. Many of you have studied an example of this already in the National Flood Insurance Program; a policy meant to help homeowners rebuild after a flood. The NFIP struggles to keep up with the frequency of storms today and is in need of changes. Another example is the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards; a policy for improving the fuel economy of vehicles for the sake of energy independence but was updated to also include global warming mitigation initiatives.

For this paper, find a U.S. policy that you feel needs an update to bring it in line with modern day environmental issues. You may choose any policy that:

1. Is from the U.S.
2. Is not one of the 6 questions from Charles’ class (ARE3434)
3. Is not the topic of your group project

Once you’ve found a U.S. policy, your essay should follow the exact format as before. In the introduction: Introduce the environmental issue, introduce the policy you want to update, then discuss what your policy update will be. Provide background information as you normally would, then describe your policy update in detail: What are the benefits? The costs? Which parties win? Which parties lose? How will you measure the impact of your policy? Then follow up with your conclusion paragraph.