More specifically, it developed from a summer program taught in Rottererdam that focused on environmental law and policy in the European Union (EU) and the United States. While conducting this course the instructors found a gap in the literature comparing the two most economically developed areas on earth and how they go about tackling the wide range of environmental consequences of their rapid development and considerable prosperity. Both are developed democracies sharing many of the same values and, to some extent, similar political and administrative structures and demographic trends. However, study revealed that there are many differences at all levels of actors, institutions, and instruments. The opportunity was seized, therefore, to invite some of the best-informed authorities in Europe and the United States specializing in environmental law and policy to consider the ways in which these two leading economic regions are dealing with or not dealing with the by-products of prosperity, regional variations in wealth, resource use and preservation, compliance, and other policy-related and law-related matters.