Course Videos

The entire course is available for viewing here:

Introduction to the Course and Early Environmental Legislation, Pre-1969
September 3, 2014
Professors Thomas Jorling and Leon Billings are the two senior majority and minority staff members who led the Senate Subcommittee on Environmental Pollution which originated and developed The Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and other major environmental legislation. In this first class in the lecture series, Billings and Jorling give an introduction to the class and an overview of the legislative process in the United States. They provide a historical and political context for early environmental legislation in the 1960s and 70s.

The Structure and Role of Congress in Environmental Policy
September 10, 2014
This class provides context for environmental policy by taking a closer look at Congress – examining the senate committee structure and discussing individuals on the 1969 Senate Public Works Committee. They detail the evolving role of committees in the U.S. legislative process and the legal precedent for federal water regulation.

From NEPA to the Clean Air Act
September 17, 2014
This class examines the context for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), looking at the process for how the act was introduced, modified and ultimately implemented. It then goes into the history of air pollution control legislation leading up to the Clean Air Act.

The Clean Air Act: Who, What, Why?
September 24, 2014
This class starts the conversation on the Clean Air Act, looking at the political context, the first Earth Day, and the role of the Environmental Protection Agency. Billings and Jorling discuss the purpose of the Clean Air Act to achieve the goal of public health.

The Clean Air Act: The Floor Debate
October 1, 2014
This class provides a more in-depth look at the Clean Air Act, looking at specific provisions as well as state implementation plans.The Professors discuss how certain policy provisions were constructed to promote broader goals, like public health and national coverage.

The Water Quality Improvement Act
October 8, 2014
Jorling discusses the origin and evolution of the Water Quality Improvement Act (a precursor to the Clean Water Act) to look at the dynamic political process in implementing and enforcing environmental law. He also discusses the importance of words in policy and legislation.

Science and Impact of the Clean Air Act
October 15, 2014
Billings and Jorling further discuss the Clean Air Act, looking at its scientific and technological basis, as well as the impact it had on American industries, using the automobile industry as an example.

The Clean Air Act & The Clean Water Act
October 22, 2014
Billings and Jorling discuss the enforcement provisions of the Clean Air Act and the impact of citizen suits and public interest groups. They touch upon the role of the CAA in combating climate change today, before introducing the Clean Water Act.

The Clean Water Act: Development and Implementation
October 29, 2014
The Professors discuss the evolution of the Clean Water Act, and the response from the public and private sectors. This discussion builds upon the political context discussed in previous classes as well as the structural relationship between federal and state government. Finally, they discuss the scientific and legislative process leading to specific provisions of the Clean Water Act.

The Clean Water Act: Conference with the House Public Works Committee
November 5, 2014
This class looks at the political context of developing the Clean Water Act, as well as the legislative progression of the act through the House Public Works Committee. Professors explore engineering challenges of the law, its impact on cities, and the difficulty of national implementation.

Provisions in the Clean Water Act
November 12, 2014
This session looks at provisions in the Clean Water Act that were points of dispute for Congress. The class continues to discuss the science and engineering behind the Clean Water Act and how these factors impacted the writing of the law.

The Clean Water Act Today
November 19, 2014
Billings and Jorling discuss the impact of the Clean Water Act on the private sector. They also look at the state of environmental legislation and environmental politics today, ending with some predictions about the future.

Congress Today
December 3, 2014
To end the lecture series, the Professors lead a comparative discussion about Congress, the role of committees in the legislative process, the role of media in politics, and the role of campaign finance and fundraising in environmental policy.