Review of Doug Kysar’s Regulating from Nowhere

I reviewed Douglas Kysar’s Regulating from Nowhere: Environmental Law and the Search for Objectivity for the Spring 2011 issue of The New Atlantis.  Overall, I found Kysar’s book thoughtful, provocative, wide-ranging and well-written, but not persuasive. In many ways, I think Kysar pursues the wrong quarry, and ignores some of the deeper problems in contemporary environmental law. Nonetheless, the book presents many arguments worth considering and engaging.   Here is how the review concludes:

If Kysar’s ultimate concern is for a greater recognition of and reaching toward the environmental values he holds dear, his complaint should be less with CBA and utilitarian calculus than with the centralized regulatory structure in which they are used to impose one-size-fits-all policies. In selecting the wrong target, Kysar embarks on a journey to the wrong destination. Were we to take Kysar’s advice, we would no longer “regulate from nowhere,” but we would still regulate from nowhere good.

The full text of the review has just been made available online here.

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