A Political Analysis of Liberal Individualism in America and its Impact on Environmental Issues : An Enbridge Line 5 Case Study
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This paper seeks to understand a few questions. First, how is liberal individualism embedded in American society and political thought? Next, what role(s) does liberal individualism play in the ability of American federal and state level governance in addressing issues of environmental concern, especially present day? Lastly, how do these roles strengthen and weaken the government's ability to address these issues? And, once that is determined, then what? The main argument of this paper is that liberal individualism, as a major theory at play within America's founding and in American government and society today, does not adequately address issues of environmental concern, as liberal individualism currently exists within America as it enforces an economic priority concern over the. environment. However, this paper also claims that within liberal individualism lies the potential solution that would encourage for a growth in the governmental priority of environmental protection and thus allow for a significant change in America's ability to tackle environmental issues. In order to better understand these theoretical concepts, this paper will use a case study in order to present a concert present day example of liberal individualism at work within environmental issues. This case study is Enbridge's oil pipeline, colloquially known as Line 5, located in the Mackinaw Straits which separates Lake Michigan and Lake Huron in the Great Lakes.