Presidential Influence and Environmental Policy

By Robert A. Shanley; Bernard K. Johnpoll | Go to book overview

3
Presidential Executive Orders and Environmental Policy

More attention has been paid to the legal and constitutional aspects of executive orders than to their political and public-policy dimensions. This study examines the uses of executive orders in the administrative presidency from the high point of environmental concern in the Nixon Administration to the Bush Administration. The focus is upon a handful of executive orders in which presidents exercised a discretionary role, either issuing orders dealing with environmental problems or, as in President Reagan's case, impacting on environmental concerns. Executive orders are also analyzed as an integral part of the Reagan administrative presidency strategy. For the most part, the executive orders analyzed are "twilight zone" cases in which no clear jurisdictional mandates for either the president or the Congress are charted by the Constitution. Some of the interacting political and legal factors that appeared to shape presidential decisions to issue orders are discussed. The problems of implementation of several executive orders are examined. Where possible, policy outputs are traced, such as the numbers of environmental impact statements and agency regulations filed in compliance with these presidential directives. Lastly, selected executive orders are analyzed to determine if there have been any important changes in the substantive or procedural aspects of environmental policy.

The Constitution contains no specific provisions for presidential authority to issue executive orders. They are generally issued to direct actions of governmental officials but may indirectly affect private individuals and groups. Orders have the force of law and the presumption of validity when issued under a valid claim of authority. But increasingly, orders have been promulgated under unclear claims of authority. Even

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Presidential Influence and Environmental Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Political Science ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 7
  • Notes 24
  • 2 - The Administrative Presidency: Information Collection, Statistical Policy, and Environmental Policy 27
  • Notes 46
  • 3 - Presidential Executive Orders and Environmental Policy 49
  • Notes 84
  • 4 - The Administrative Presidency and the Politics of Risk Management 91
  • Notes 106
  • 5 - The Reagan Administrative Presidency Strategy and the Politics of Enforcement in Environmental Policy 109
  • Notes 127
  • 6 - The Bush Presidency and Environmental Policy 131
  • Notes 151
  • 7 - Conclusion 155
  • Notes 163
  • Selected Bibliography 165
  • Index 173
  • About the Author 183
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