[Law-envtlcert] Wed., 3/11 - U Penn Prof. Cary Coglianese on "The Scapegoating of Environmental Regulation"

Erin Ryan ERyan at law.fsu.edu
Mon Mar 2 12:13:05 EST 2020

FSU Spring 2020 Distinguished Environmental Lecture: Cary Coglianese

The FSU Program on Environmental, Energy, and Land Use Law is proud to welcome our Spring 2020 Distinguished Lecturer: Cary Coglianese, the Edward B. Shils Professor of Law, Professor of Political Science, and Founding Director of the Penn Program on Regulation at the University of Pennsylvania.

His lecture, The Scapegoating of Environmental Regulation, will take place next week on Wednesday, March 11, from 3:30 - 4:30 pm in Room 310.  The talk, free and open to the public, will be followed by a reception in the Law School Rotunda.  We hope you can join us in person, but if not, the lecture will also be live-streamed<https://mediasite.capd.fsu.edu/Mediasite/Play/f27528233af04e46bbf37ac8f920aeac1d>.

Professor Coglianese specializes in the study of administrative law and regulatory processes.  Chair of the Government Service and Public Affairs Initiative at the law school, he is also a faculty affiliate of the Fels Institute of Government, the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, and the Wharton Risk Center.  He serves as faculty director for Penn Law's executive education program on regulatory analysis and teaches regularly at the Wharton School.  He is a member of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) and serves on a National Academy of Sciences committee improving federal inspection of offshore oil and gas development.  Prior to joining Penn Law, he founded and chaired the Regulatory Policy Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.  Coglianese teaches administrative law, environmental law, regulatory law and policy, and policy analysis.

The Scapegoating of Environmental Regulation sheds light on the phenomenon of regulatory scapegoating.  Coglianese shows why environmental regulation receives disproportionate rhetorical blame for perceived regulatory excesses despite contrary empirical evidence, and he discusses the potential threat that persistent regulatory scapegoating can pose to the very rule of law:


Most federal environmental law in the United States originated decades ago, during a time when legal protection of the environment enjoyed strong bipartisan support. Today, the environment has become a wedge issue demarcating deep cultural and ideological divides within the American populace. Politicians and media commentators on the political right frequently exploit this divide by scapegoating environmental regulation for perceived economic and social woes.

In this lecture, Cary Coglianese, a political scientist and legal scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, casts light on the phenomenon of regulatory scapegoating-a political and policy strategy that goes beyond mere criticism of environmental regulation to instead treat such regulation as a major factor dragging down the economy and "killing" jobs. Coglianese shows how environmental regulation receives a disproportionate share of the rhetorical blame for perceived regulatory excesses, even though the weight of the empirical evidence indicates that it is implausible that such regulation could result in substantial negative effects to the economy.

Offering a cautionary warning of long-term harms to the rule of law that may follow from persistent regulatory scapegoating, Coglianese explains why environmental regulation is especially prone to political blame and what concerned lawyers and members of the public might do in response to efforts to make regulation a scapegoat.

Erin Ryan
Elizabeth C. & Clyde W. Atkinson Professor
Florida State University, College of Law
425 West Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306
(850) 645-0072
eryan at fsu.edu<mailto:eryan at fsu.edu>

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