Setting the record straight: interest group influence on climate policy at the Environmental Protection Agency

Cook, Jeffrey J., author
Duffy, Robert, advisor
Davis, Charles, committee member
Davis, Sandra, committee member
Kroll, Stephan, committee member
Rinfret, Sara, committee member
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
It is clear that interest groups are involved in the rulemaking process at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but it has been difficult to determine whether certain groups are more influential on outcomes. This debate persists because the literature illustrates that groups can be influential at discrete stages in the process, but the field rarely analyzes the entire rulemaking process. This uncertainty has spurred controversy regarding the EPA's recent climate change regulations. Therefore, this dissertation conducted three case studies of recent climate change regulations and addresses three questions. First, what, if any, strategies did interest groups use to influence the content of these climate change rules? Second, did these strategies translate into influence? Third, what can these climate change case studies tell us about the role of interest groups in other controversial rules at the EPA, and across the bureaucracy more broadly? Ultimately, I argue that interest group influence was generally balanced across each of the three case studies. These findings then serve as the basis to develop my Regulatory Spheres of Influence Framework. The framework illustrates that given the nature of EPA rulemakings, it is very difficult for one side either business or environmental to dominate the process in highly controversial rules. It is possible that these conclusions track to other controversial rules across the bureaucracy and I note that my framework could be applied in other contexts to test this assertion.
2017 Spring.
Includes bibliographical references.
Rights Access
climate change
interest group
Associated Publications