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Encouraging Environmentally Sustainable Growth in the United States


  • Paul O’Brien


This paper analyses aspects of US environmental policy, including, among others, policy on air and water quality, water supply in certain areas, climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. Particular attention is paid to certain policies in agriculture and road transport, sectors with an important influence on the environment, as well as to the use of cost-benefit analysis (and in some cases specific prohibitions on its use) and the role of the courts in designing and implementing policy. While “command and control” style regulations have produced significant improvements in environmental standards since the 1970s, increasing attention has been paid to the use of economic incentives - permit trading arrangements have been preferred to environmental taxes - and more flexibility in some regulatory policies. These trends towards more cost-effective policies should be extended to such areas as fuel economy, where increased fuel taxes would be more cost-effective than the “CAFE” ... Ce document analyse quelques aspects de la politique environnementale des Etats-Unis, concernant en particulaier la qualité de l'air et de l'eau, la gestion de l'offre de l'eau dans certaines régions, le changement climatique et les émissions de gas à effet de serre. Une attention particulière est portée sur certaines politiques dans les secteurs de l'agriculture et du transport routier, qui ont une influence importante sur l'environnement, ainsi que sur l'utilisation de l'analyse coût-bénéfice (ou dans certains cas son interdiction) et le rôle des cours de justice dans le développement et la mise en oeuvre des politiques. Tandis que les politiques de type "obligations et réglementations" ont permis une amélioration notable des standards environnementaux depuis les années 70, On a porté une attention croissante à l'utilisation d'incitations économiques - des marchés de permis plutôt que des taxes-, et à l'introduction de plus de flexibilité dans certaines réglementations. Ces ...

Suggested Citation

  • Paul O’Brien, 2001. "Encouraging Environmentally Sustainable Growth in the United States," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 278, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:278-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Paul O'Brien & Ann Vourc'h, 2002. "Encouraging Environmentally Sustainable Growth: Experience in OECD Countries," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 93-111, June.

    More about this item


    développement durable; environmental policy; politique environnementale; sustainable development; United States; États-Unis;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q00 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - General
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy


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