Can the U.S. EPA persuade European and Asian countries to tighten their regulations?



  1. 0 Votes

    I don’t think so, for two reasons. First, it’s not the EPA’s job to persuade foreign nations to do anything. The Environmental Protection Agency is the federal agency charged with enforcement of the federal environmental laws such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. To the extent they interface with foreign governments, it’s within that context, such as working with the Canadian government to coordinate efforts to mitigate acid rain (which has been very successful, by the way). Foreign policy is the job of the President, not a federal agency, so it’s going to be Obama and his foreign policy representatives, such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who are going to be doing the negotiating with European an Asian countries.

    Second, I don’t believe the US has a lot of credibility in the international realm regarding environmental issues. The US has not ratified the 1997 Kyoto Protocols regarding greenhouse gas emissions targets. All the European and Asian countries have. If we push hard for other countries to tighten their environmental regulations, the rejoinder will naturally be, “Well, why don’t you (United States) do something about your own stance on global warming?”  I think we need to take some strong domestic action in the realm of climate change mitigation before we start trying to convince other countries to adopt new regulations.

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