The United States Congress appears to be in perpetual gridlock on environmental policy, notes Sara Rinfret, editor of the significant collection, Who Really Makes Environmental Policy? As she and her contributors explain, however, most environmental policy is not made in the halls of Congress. Instead, it is created by agency experts in federal environmental agencies and it is implemented at the state level. These individuals have been delegated the authority to interpret vague congressional legislation and write rules – and these rules carry the same weight as congressional law.
Who Really Makes Environmental Policy? brings together top scholars to provide an explanation of rulemaking processes and regulatory policy, and to show why this context is important for U.S. environmental policy. Illustrative case studies about oil and gas regulations in Colorado and the regulation of coal ash disposal in southeastern states apply theory to practice. Ultimately, the essays in this volume advance our understanding of how U.S. environmental policy is made and why understanding regulatory policy matters for its future.
Sara R. Rinfret is Professor and Chair of the Baucus Institute Department of Public Administration and Policy at the University of Montana. She is the coauthor of several books, including The Lilliputians of Environmental Regulation; The Environmental Case: Translating Values into Policy, 5th Edition, and Public Policy: A Concise Introduction.