U.S. Energy and Environmental Interest Groups: Institutional Profiles

By Lettie McSpadden Wenner | Go to book overview

PREFACE

For twenty years I have read and written about various interest groups' use of the courts to press their legal claims concerning environmental and energy policies. It became evident to me through this experience that the variety and strength of organizations using the courts to advance their demands about energy and environmental policies have grown in the past two decades and continue to expand. Most such groups do not restrict their efforts to the courts any more than they do to the legislative or executive branches of government. They appeal to whatever policy makers they can find who will respond to their demands. As a result, I have expanded my own interest in these organizations to track their efforts in other parts of the policy process. This book is a direct outcome of that effort.

In the latter part of the 1980s, as political action committees have proliferated and the number of lobbyists in the nation's capital has increased, there has been a corresponding increase of interest among scholars in examining this phenomenon. Many have focused on pressure groups in general regardless of the kinds of issues they pursue, and have expanded on the theme that business groups predominate in this society ( Wilson, 1981; Schlozman and Tierney, 1985). Others have focused on associations that make up the energy-policy network of groups ( Knoke and Laumann, 1983; McFarland, 1984). Still others have performed the same analysis on environmental policy ( Ingram and Mann, 1989).

What I have attempted to do in this volume is to define the universe of groups. that lobby in the fields of environmental and energy policy regardless of which side of the many controversies in these areas they represent. I began this quest by reviewing the lists that have already been assembled by others, but I made my own judgment about which were important enough to include based on the frequency of appearance of such groups before Congress to testify about various

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