Step by step, this book shatters the myth that important environmental energy debates in the United States have been driven by forces too complex for the average American to comprehend. Although made up of a number of contributions, Robert McMonagle's book makes sense of the underlying political and societal forces driving contemporary environmental energy debates including the critical case of whether to drill for energy sources at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska.
Caribou and Conoco aims to answer two questions by examining four case studies of the policy-making process: the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; drilling on public lands in the Western United States and in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico; along with a proposal to develop a commercial wind farm off the Massachusetts coast. First, what political and societal forces have shaped modern, contentious environmental energy debates in the US? Second, what do the findings reveal about the way in which environmental energy policies are made, our institutions of government, and the influences of the public versus elites in making policy? Dr McMonagle finds that partisan voting in Congress is a critical factor in policy shifts, especially when symbols are used to define policy issues. Further, public opinion and the print media remain important factors in defining issues leading to legislative policy victories.
List of Abbreviations
1. Introduction: Rethinking Environmental-Energy Policy Studies
2. The Case of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): A History
3. Advance to Go: The ANWR Policy Monopoly Unravels
4. "Civility" in Washington? Party Politics in Environmental-Energy Policy Making
5. Forces for Change: Political and Social Currents for ANWR, Western Lands, the Gulf of Mexico, and Cape Cod Wind Farms
6. Patterns of Decisions across the Environment-Energy Divide
Robert J. McMonagle is an associate professor of political science at Neumann University in Pennsylvania.
"McMonagle tackles a challenging question in this thoroughly researched study: How do we best explain the long and contentious political struggle over drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge? Understanding the partisan, ideological, and institutional roots of the fight over ANWR offers a window into understanding all instances where policymakers and attentive publics struggle to balance the equally desired goals of energy production and environmental protection. The result is a careful, theoretically rich, empirically informed, and policy-relevant effort to make sense of these dilemmas and, in the process, find ways to get beyond them."
– Christopher J. Bosso, author of Environment, Inc. and Pesticides and Politics
"Caribou and Conoco is the first of its kind of analysis of the ANWR (drilling vs. environmental protection) issue. This well-researched and detailed work examines how drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was pushed onto the national agenda in the 1990s, periodically resurfacing and seemingly decided in favor of environmental protection. Looking at ANWR, and extending the analysis onto other environmental policy issues (oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, drilling on public lands, and windfarms off the coast of Massachusetts), Robert McMonagle cogently explains environmental policy change while encouraging political scientists to become more active in public deliberations on the environment. This book is a must-read for students of public policy and the environment."
– Kyle Kreider, author of Voting in America: A Documentary and Reference Guide
"Robert McMonagle guides us carefully and thoroughly through the long-running Arctic National Wildlife Refuge policy debate, helping us understand how and why Congressional, media, and public framing of ANWR issues have shifted that debate over the past couple decades. His lucid analysis of one of the defining environmental issues of our time is essential reading for academicians and practitioners. McMonagle's methodology and findings are applicable to a great variety of ecological, social, public health, and other pressing policy debates."
– Robert J. Mason, author of Collaborative Land Use Management: The Quieter Revolution in Place-Based Planning