Maintaining Political Control: George W. Bush and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 Republican presidents have espoused a regulatory philosophy that emphasizes an enhanced reliance on market factors, while the government concomitantly plays a less intrusive regulatory role. For the most part this regulatory strategy achieved its goal. As Wood and Waterman (1991, 1994) demonstrate empirically, during Reagan’s two terms in office there was a marked reduction in the number of inspections and enforcement actions across a wide range of federal regulatory agencies. In most cases the changes were durable, but in a few cases they were temporary or even reversed. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) was one agency in which the reduction in regulatory enforcement was transitory.
KeywordsPolitical Influence Atomic Energy Commission Nuclear Regulatory Commission Nuclear Power Industry Regulatory Enforcement
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