Encyclopedia of the U.S. Government and the Environment

History, Policy, and Politics

by Matthew J. Lindstrom, Editor


With the election of Barack Obama, the environmental policy of the United States is expected to shift away from the approach of George W. Bush. It won't be the first time in U.S. history that a new president has made a break with the previous administration's environmental approach.

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Cover image for Encyclopedia of the U.S. Government and the Environment

December 2010


Pages 874
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Politics, Law, and Government/U.S. Public Policy and Administration

A timely, new resource on the history of the U.S. government's approach to environmental policy.

At a time when changing the nation's environmental policy is a top presidential priority, with a new global climate change treaty deep in negotiations, and with the country itself weighing the need for action against concerns over too much government regulation, this exhaustive new reference work could not be more welcomed.

Encyclopedia of the U.S. Government and the Environment: History, Policy, and Politics explores the interaction between the federal government and environmental politics and policy throughout the nation's history, from the earliest efforts to preserve lands and regulate pollution to the 1960s emergence of the modern environmental movement, the landmark legislation of the 1970s, and the seesawing back-and-forth of policies between alternating Republican and Democrat administrations of the last three decades. Authoritative, unbiased, and informed by the latest available research, the hundreds of entries cover the full range of issues, events, laws, institutions, and key players that shape federal environmental policies, incorporating viewpoints from across the ideological spectrum.


  • 200 alphabetically organized entries on all aspects of the development of U.S. environmental policy—the events, issues, people, and politics
  • 100 expert contributors—scholars from a wide range of disciplines—draw on the latest research
  • A timeline of major laws, events, and governmental agencies related to environmental policy
  • A bibliography of important books and essays on U.S. government environmental policy in print and on online


  • Includes a vast amount of environmental issues and actors from the past two centuries
  • Serves both students and scholars as a comprehensive source of nonbiased information about contentious environmental policy issues
  • Discusses popular new environmental issues like suburban sprawl, local food movements, and alternative energy
  • Allows readers to understand not just the laws and agencies affecting environmental policy but also the major interest groups and individuals who contributed to environmental policy debates
Author Info

Matthew J. Lindstrom is the Ed Henry Professor of Political Science and the director of the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement at Saint John's University, Collegeville, MN, in partnership with the College of St. Benedict, St. John, MN. His published works include co-editing Suburban Sprawl: Culture, Theory, and Politics with Hugh Bartling and co-authoring The National Environmental Policy Act: Judicial Misconstruction, Legislative Indifference, and Executive Neglect with Zachary Smith. Lindstrom has written eight journal articles and book chapters as well as a dozen encyclopedia entries and book reviews.



"This work takes a new approach to the subject of environmental policy and should be included in any academic library or large public library collection."Booklist

"Students will appreciate the primary documents, such as an excerpt from the Endangered Species Act of 1973, that are sprinkled throughout, as well as the often-extensive online and print references after each entry."School Library Journal

"This encyclopedia is a great resource for students in environmental science, environmental history, and political science. It will also be useful for students in other areas of natural resources study. Summing Up: Recommended."Choice

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