Energizing the Energy Policy Process: The Impact of Evaluation

By Roberta W. Walsh; John G. Heilman | Go to book overview

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Introduction: Evaluation and Energy Policy

John G. Heilmanand Roberta W. Walsh


WHAT THIS BOOK IS ABOUT

This book is about evaluation and its impact on the formulation of energy policy. At first glance it may appear that we have stated the situation in reverse order from the usual case: In practice, at least, policy evaluation often follows formulation and implementation. However, it is precisely this apparent transposition that makes the connection between evaluation and energy policy worthy of the special attention we focus upon it in this book.

Our concern is not with the development of energy policy through standard legislative channels, including the most recent statute, the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPACT, P.L. 102-486). Rather, we view energy policy as the effect of ongoing and independent, yet interacting, decisions among a variety of players in both the public and private sectors. These decisions are reached in response to the pressures of dynamic economic, political, and social conditions. They involve the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars annually and affect the manner in which energy is supplied, delivered, and consumed in all sectors of the economy. In the past decade, evaluation researchers have increasingly played a central role in the making of these decisions and in the framing of the issues around which they revolve. In many or even most cases, these researchers are working at the state or local level of government or in the private sector. Through their work, evaluation

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