Understanding the Environmental Policy Process Policy Process 1

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1 Understanding the Environmental Policy Process Policy Process 1

2 Stages of the Policy Process Agenda Setting Option Formulation Decision Implementation Evaluation Policy Process 2

3 Forms of Government Action Markets Information Laws Services Do Nothing Rules Rights Policy Process 3

4 Policy Process as a Game 1. What are the structure & rules of the game and how do they affect the outcome? 2. Who are the players? 3. What tools do the players have to influence the game? 4. Where in the game are players most influential? Policy Process 4

5 Structure of the Environmental Policy Game in the U.S. Fragmentation of Authority Federalism National Government State Government Local Government Separation of Powers Executive Legislative Judiciary Checks & Balances Policy Process 5

6 Structure of the Environmental Policy Game in the U.S. Political Power is Widely Dispersed & Fluid Pluralism Elections Rights Diverse Interests & Values Survive Political Loss Policy Process 6

7 Implications Many access points to government Policy requires broad political consensus to advance Easier to stall policy than it is to make it Policy change tends to be incremental Crises Issues of Low political salience Environmental Policy = many policies Duplication & Overlap Inconsistency & Conflict Policy Process 7

8 Players in the Environmental Policy Game Chief Executive Chief Executive White House Staff CEQ OMB Executive Agency Chiefs Political appointees Dept. Secretaries Deputy & Assistant Secretaries Tools Executive Authority Decision-making reorganization Executive orders Hire & fire Agenda setting Policy Process 8

9 Players in the Environmental Policy Game Bureaucracy Many Agencies EPA DA DOI DC USACE Agency Personnel Political Appointees Professional staff Sub-agencies Dept. of Interior F&WS NPS BLM Dept. of Agriculture Forest Service NRCS (SCS) Policy Process 9

10 Players in the Environmental Policy Game Bureaucracy Tools Information Professional/analytic staff Implementation power (client contact) Policy Process 10

11 Players in the Environmental Policy Game Legislative Branch House & Senate Leadership Majority party Minority party Membership Committees & staffs Tools Law-making power Budgetary power Investigative power Standing committees & staff Approval of senior agency appointments Policy Process 11

12 Players in the Environmental Policy Game Judicial Branch Courts Federal courts Appellate courts Supreme Court Tools Constitutional authority Insulation from electoral politics Case selection & legal methodology Policy Process 12

13 Players in the Environmental Policy Game States Duplicate Federal Cast of Characters States Rights to Define Policy Federal Policy Implementation Roles Policy Process 13

14 Players in the Environmental Policy Game Interest Groups & NGOs Non-Governmental Organizations Industry & Trade associations Nat l. Assoc. of Home Builders American Mining Association Teamsters Environmental Groups Property Rights & Wise Use Groups Media Public Policy Process 14

15 Players in the Environmental Policy Game Interest Groups & NGOs Tools Membership & Organization Professional & analytic staff Information Votes Money Policy Process 15

16 Implications Many diverse interests and values in policy process Many are not directly concerned with environmental problem solving Decision-making institutions & organizations are not monolithic Information & analysis are widely dispersed Decision-making influence (power) & tools vary among players Policy Process 16

17 The Legislative Maze I House Senate Committee Committee Committee Committee subcomm. subcomm. subcomm. subcomm. subcomm. subcomm Policy Process 17

18 Legislative Maze II President House Conference Committee Senate Policy Process 18

19 Subcommittee Setting Report to Committee Majority Staff Report Minority Staff Report Witness Testimony Subcommittee Hearings Member Interests Interest Groups Outside Experts Agencies Events Public Opinion Partisan Politics Policy Process 19

20 Rule-Making in the Bureaucracy Enabling Law & Statutory Authority Administrative Procedures Law Science & Technology Data Organizational Mission/Health Policy Process 20

21 Rule-Making in the Bureaucracy Publication of Rules Witness Testimony Regulatory Hearing Public Comment Enabling Law Staff Report on Proposed Rules Agency Studies Interest Groups Outside Experts Agency Interests Other Agencies Court Rulings Events Policy Process 21

22 Courts Legality Does the law authorize this action? Constitutionality Does the Constitution allow this action? Rationality Does this action make sense? Hard look at administrative action Policy Process 22

23 Judicial Review No Authority to Initiate Action Must wait for cases Standing Parties bringing suit must suffer direct harm Judicial Philosophy Judicial activism Making policy by broad interpretations of what the law intended Strict Constructionism Ruling on merit of the specific case as read in the context of the precise wording of the law Policy Process 23

24 Federal Environmental Laws Passed (including amendments) Number Passed Policy Process 24

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