National Environmental Policy Act, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

What is the policy issue that you have selected?

The policy is in regards to sustaining and further preserving the environment and natural resources nationwide. The policy is known as the “National Environmental Policy Act” which was passed in 1969 and was implemented as a law on January 1, 1970. It is overall implemented to work in favor of the general welfare of the human kind, the nature, and the Earth in general.  In particular, the issue here has sparked some interest after the oil spill of 1969. Along with this policy, the Congress also established a branch within it which is of significant help to Congress and to the President as well. The branch is called “Council on Environmental Quality.” The members of the branch are assigned by the President and approved by the Senate: in addition,  one of them is the chairman of the Council. In order to be appointed they have to be well qualified for the position as they are responsible for an annual Report about the natural environmental substances of the country.The annual Report is quite vital as it is going to give recommendations to the Senate and the Congress. In the book of law the policy, like any other, has a number which is Sec. 2 [42 USC § 4321] (Congress 1)

What is the Societal Problem this Policy aims to Address or Solve? e.g. Who is affected by this problem, its distribution–geographically or across economic or age cohorts? What is the intensity of the impacts of the problem. It is visible, etc
National Environmental Policy Act was implemented in order to fulfill several tasks simultaneously: first, it acknowledges the importance of nature, clean urbanization and maintenance of clean nature in urban areas, sustaining our natural resources and, if possible, further expanding its growth, and lastly, creating an environment that is both accessible and beneficiary for the human kind and for the nature. Though environment is a broad term and the ends are almost invisible, lack of attention and abandonment does  not serve well for the current citizens of the U.S. and will certainly be a burden for the generation to come since this same problem would be passed down to them with more deep problems. The  level of intensity is quite high and challenging for this Policy. This has to do with oil companies who are vehemently opposed to policies such as this. The Natural Environmental Policy Act alerted the government about the smog issue in California and elsewhere and warned about future repercussions if not done anything about it. Furthermore, this transformed into a more contemporary problem that the current generation has to deal with. The problem with issues of that sort aggravate and make it worse for the future generation to battle.

Are there Rival Policy Alternatives being offered in the public arena? what are one or two? did they emerge from think tanks: Interest groups? political parties? Tell a bit about the source of this or/other rival proposals

The main rivals that that the National Environmental Policy and its sympathizers have are the oil companies who are very much short-sighted or blind to nature since the business of oil gets them so much profit.  There have been many times that some government officials that opposed the change only because they were supported by some of those multimillion. As a way of appreciation these congressmen try their best to oppose or block some of the environmental resolutions that enter the floor and further assist pro-oil-corporate  resolutions.  For instance, S.J. 26 Resolution that was introduced in the Senate in 1990 by one of the pro-corporate Senators. The resolution was designed to review and revise some of the laws that were implemented years ago for the protection of the environment. Issues like this come up every year when the elections take place. Most of the time, it is the Republican party that implements laws of this sort since most of the issues concerning the nature, global warming, and preserving the clean air does not concern them since most of them, being conservative, do not believe in global warming and issues alike.

What organized interests(if any)seem to be taking a stand on these policy alternatives?

As mentioned above, the main organizations that vehemently wish to revise pro-environment laws are the oil corporations. Because some of those laws restrict or limit some of their activities, they seek to bribe the congressmen to implement laws that would revise the pro-environment ones.  For instance,  in late August of 2011 Keystone XL, with the approval of the government began building its long pipeline. Though the pipeline would cause many problems in that area and would in fact be unhealthy, the corporation still decided to build the pipeline. As an excuse, they claimed that the pipeline is needed for the populace of the nearby area, which was a blatant lie. This shows the level of absurdity that these corporations are in.  There are many others who use absurd names to avoid looking shady.  There are a few organizations who support and protect these environmental laws: they are-  Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund, the National Wildlife Federation, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and the Rainforest Action Network. Most of these organizations work on the government level issues. For instance, when it comes to resolutions being passed, they are on the forefront of investigating the resolution and to see whether or not it will have an effect on the nature or the health safety of the people. Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), for instance, works with the government on issues concerning Global Warming and the ways to battle the problem, saving endangered wild places and wildlife. Sierra Club, on the other hand works with local communities and local government to fight issues like fighting to promote quality on water resources of our country (SC)

After conducting this research, would you support the passage of you chosen policy alternative? briefly explain why or why not

The Policy does not take research to conclude that it is a needed policy in our system. Vast majority of the people that even have little interest in environmental issues agree that those pro-environmental policies are needed to preserve the nature for the nature itself and for the human kind. Also, this Act brings about brings about a whole range of issues into question for the Congressmen. For instance, the Environment Act was linked to the Endangered Species Act (Congress 2) which provides shelter for animals and preserves natural habitats.  Another act, the Emergency Planning and Right-To-Know Act is designed to work more on a local level in order to provide the populace of the community health safety.  And lastly, the National Environment Policy Act brought forth the Air Pollution Act of 1990 which was to gather tax from oil companies for emergency fund so when there is pollution the money could be spent on the emergency. All these are simply few of the benefits that National Environmental Policy Act introduced to United States. It preserves the nature and keeps the health safety issues always on alert.

References

National Resources Defense Council, November 2010, retrieved from  http://www.nrdc.org/default_t2.asp

Sierra Club, Feb 2010, Water Safety Issues, Retrieved from http://www.sierraclub.org/

United States Congress, November 30, 2011 Endangered Species Act, retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/lawsregs/laws/esa.html

United States Congress, November 30 2011,  National Environmnetal Policy Act, retrieved from http://ceq.hss.doe.gov/nepa/regs/nepa/nepaeqia.htm

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