Flying under the Radar? Political Control and Bureaucratic Resistance in the Bush Environmental Protection Agency
During his tenure as president, George W. Bush pushed a domestic policy agenda that strongly advocated reducing the burdens on business, allegedly caused by regulations that were deemed too punitive and too expensive by the administration and its allies. This policy shift took place within most agencies responsible for administering social and economic regulation, but environmental regulation was the most salient and visible example of the administration’s attempt to roll back enforcement activities. In particular, administration officials attempted to implement most of these changes through administrative means, such as appointments and rulemaking. With strong efforts like these, to make regulation more business-friendly, it is natural to expect that enforcement activities in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would decline during the Bush administration. However, this conclusion may be premature, given previous research in this area that suggests that such “overhead” cues do not always dictate enforcement patterns.
KeywordsEnvironmental Protection Agency Rule Change Enforcement Activity Bush Administration Political Control
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