Emissions Trading, An Exercise in Reforming Pollution Policy

By T. H. Tietenberg | Go to book overview

1 / Introduction

Although there has been a long, active, intellectual tradition associated with regulatory reform, only in the past ten to fifteen years has popular support grown sufficiently to place it high on the political agenda. During the beginning of the 1970s, President Nixon established the Advisory Council on Executive Organization to study the independent regulatory agencies and to recommend organizational improvements.1 President Carter carried this initiative a step further by establishing both the Regulatory Analysis Review Group and the Regulatory Council within the executive branch to identify good reform ideas and to facilitate their implementation.2 Apparently the voters felt even these measures were not enough as President Reagan was propelled into the White House in 1980, in part because of his promise to further lessen the burden of regulation.3

Despite this apparently intense interest, there are remarkably few reform proposals which have successfully negotiated the perilous path from concept to implementation. Certainly this is not due to any shortage of ideas on how existing regulations or the regulatory process could be improved. The literature is full of proposals.4 Even if only a fraction

____________________
1
For a description and evaluation of the work of this council, see Noll ( 1971).
2
The roles of these organizations and the issues they addressed are described in White ( 1981).
3
Regulatory reform as an issue in the Carter-Reagan campaign is explored in Stone ( 1982, pp. 238-239).
4
For a sample of this literature, see Stephen Breyer, Regulation and Its Reform ( Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1982); Leroy Graymer and Frederick

-1-

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