On the forty-second page of “Corporate America and Environmental Policy: How Often Does Business Get Its Way?” author Sheldon Kamieniecki wrote (emphasis added):
networks," and other mechanisms quickly behind the scenes. In direct opposition to the tradtional pluralist perspective, Gonzalez contents that economic elites have dictated the way government has managed the national forests and national parks, often with the intent to serve their narrow self-interests. They are also responsible for the enactment of basically ineffective wilderness preservation policy and national clean air policy.
Despite Gonzalez's (2001) efforts to provide evidence to support his arguments, his position is generally one sided. Although his study contains a number of perceptive insights, analysts (including pluralists and neopluralists) might contend that he exaggerates the power economic elites wield in American society by downplaying the oftentimes countervailing impact of the media, citizen groups, competing elites (public and private), federalism, and the government's system of checks and balances. If anything, environmental policymaking is a highly dynamic, complex process involving a wide array of independent and often competing actors and groups at different levels of government. Today, most environmentalists tend not to believe that policy is being formulated and implemented by a small, clandestine group of wealthy individuals. Most also do not call for a complete overhaul or elimination of the capitalist system. Reflecting the central thrust of ecological modernization, they instead argue that the country can have been environmental protection and economic growth with the aid of science and technology.1 Ehrlich and Ehrlich (1996), for instance, maintain that the United States can have stronger environmental protection and continued growth of the GNP, that environmental regulations do not reduce the competitiveness of American industry, and that stricter environmental regulations do not cost American jobs by forcing industries to relocate in nations with weaker regulations.
Business leaders, too, seem to have backed away from their earlier extreme claims and dire predictions concering the U.S. adoption of environmental protection programs. Based on previous research, Press and Mazmanian note how certain companies have "evolved from being heavy polluters to conscientious pollution abaters by significantly reducing emissions, better managing wastes, reformulating products and production processes in order to use fewer natural resources and energy, and making goods recyclable, more durable, and less toxic" (2003, 287). This has occured in leading-edge companies because of "visible involvement of corporate leadership in developing and promoting new management