October 01, 2017

Private Governance and the New Private Advocacy

Michael P. Vandenbergh and Ben Raker

Environmental lawyers in the United States are reacting to the 2016 election by rethinking the actors and actions that drive environmental protection. The obvious first response for environmental lawyers—whether representing advocacy groups or corporations—is to step up lobbying and litigation directed at the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of federal and state governments. An exclusive focus on public governance and public advocacy, however, will miss opportunities to affect large aspects of the modern environmental regulatory landscape. We suggest that private advocacy and private governance, which often can bypass government altogether, will play a growing role in environmental law and policy as the federal role in environmental protection shrinks over the next several years.

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