Prof. Rena Steinzor, co-author of the new book The People's Agents and the Battle to Protect the American Public: Special Interests, Government, and Threats to Health, Safety, and the Environment, published an op-ed in The Baltimore Sun on June 18 arguing that the BP spill is just the latest in a series of disasters enabled by the failure of federal regulators.
"We need government regulators to guard against the excesses of companies that are more concerned with profits than with safety. We can no more afford to take regulators out of the picture than we can afford to take cops off the beat," she wrote. "Unfortunately, over the last five presidencies, that's exactly what has happened. Health, safety and environmental agencies are starved of resources, with budgets at the same level in constant dollars as they were in the mid-80s."
During the course of her academic career, Steinzor has written extensively on efforts to reinvent environmental regulation in the United States, the use and misuse of science in environmental policymaking, and the devolution of legal and administrative authority to the states. She edited the book A New Progressive Agenda for Public Health and the Environment (Carolina Academic Press 2005) with Professor Christopher Schroeder, JD, MDiv, of the Duke Law School, and worked with Professor Wendy Wagner, JD, MES, of the University of Texas School of Law to edit a book of essays by prominent academics entitled Rescuing Science from Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2005), writing an introduction and conclusion summarizing the issues and recommendations suggested by the book. Steinzor's book titled Mother Earth and Uncle Sam: How Pollution and Hollow Government Hurt Our Kids was published by the University of Texas Press in 2007.