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The Snail Darter and the Dam
: Zygmunt J. B. Plater
: Environmental policy—United States, Environmental legislation— United States, Endangered species—Government policy—United States, Rare fi shes—Government policy—United States, Tennessee Valley Authority, Tellico Dam (Tenn.), United States. Endangered Species Act of 1973, United States. National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.
: Yale University Press
: 2013
Call Number
: ebook 608
Ringkasan :
This book grew out of a tumultuous half- dozen years when a group of my students and I at the University of Tennessee took up the cause of embattled local farmers and a river threatened by a very dubious federal dam project. Fighting to save the river and its remarkable valley, we used the federal Endangered Species Act and the snail darter, a little fi sh threatened with extinction, as our only available legal leverage. The Snail Darter and the Dam is a true- life parable, revealing major twists, turns, opportunities, and hazards, as a citizen- based public interest campaign wrestles its way through scientifi c, economic, po liti cal, and legal obstacles in a stubborn attempt to straighten out an enduring offi cial mistake. Was the battle between the Tellico Dam, being built by the federal Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and the little snail darter the “most extreme environmental case ever,” as pundits and politicians have said? Critics have long denigrated the tiny endangered fi sh and the “fringe lunatics” (to quote Fox News personality Sean Hannity) who persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court to halt a “huge Tennessee Valley hydroelectric dam” that would destroy the little fi sh’s last known natural population. The clash happened more than thirty years ago, but Hannity and other conservatives, like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, George Will, Roger Ailes, Justice Antonin Scalia, and their cohort in Congress, still invoke the snail darter as a sarcastic put- down, using it to characterize progressive initiatives as liberal extremism. The little fi sh has also entered public rhetoric more broadly. A national controversy over the snail darter fi lled newspapers, talk shows, and tele vi sion news coverage. It was one of the three biggest environmental press stories of its de cade, understood then and now, even by liberals, as an example of governmental protectionism that went too far.


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