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Public policy is defined by Webster’s as the “The basic policy or set of policies forming the foundation of public laws, especially such policy not yet formally enunciated.” The United States Government has many policies in the area of the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created in 1970 to help identify environmental problems in our nation, and to set policy on how to deal with those problems. Yet, with so much money spent by the government to deal with problems with the environment, it must be noted that problems still exist, even within the bureaucracy that was meant to help in the first place.

During the presidential campaign of the last election, an issue arose concerning the “energy crisis” that was driving gasoline and oil prices up throughout our country. Vice President Al Gore supported President Clinton’s ideology of waiting for the proper legislative initiatives to pass through Congress, and when the situation merited, provide some limited releases of oil from the national oil reserve. Candidate George W. Bush, on the other had, favored drilling in the government protected lands of Alaska to find future oil reserves so that America would no longer be so dependent on foreign oil. The problem with Bush’s plan, according to Gore, was that this could be devastating to the environment of the scarcely populated Alaskan wilderness. Regardless of the political, legal or moral implications of such drilling, there are problems dealing with multiple types of rationality in this issue.

In his book “Reason in Society,” Paul Diesing describes six major types of rationality. These include technical, economic, social, legal, political and ecological rational. It is easy to comprehend that this environmental issue involves each one of these types of rationality.

First of all, the technical rationality is demonstrated through the question of whether or not oil can be found in Alaska, and ...

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