Presidential Administrative Influence: From Conservation Policy to Environmental Policy
The presidency plays a vital role in environmental policy, even though it has not been the dominant branch in forging most of the key environmental laws. The president's role is critical in supporting or in opposing environmental legislation, and presidential administrative powers can also be significant in affecting the course of environmental policy. Recently, there has been more scholarly attention to the administrative or managerial dimensions of the presidency as they impact on public policy and the federal bureaucracy. This study seeks to extend the understanding of the politics and impacts of the administrative presidency, particularly in the field of environmental policy. 1
One model of the modern administrative state envisions the president as the only nationally elected leader and chief executive with broad electoral support and broad executive power in the Constitution, which justifies significant presidential authority to direct and shape the execution of the laws and to supervise and coordinate the sometimes conflicting activities of the federal bureaucracy. Such a broad interpretation of authority acknowledges that the president is prohibited from acting contrary to the law, but it risks interbranch conflict with congressional prerogatives, especially when congressional priorities are spelled out in statutory provisions, legislative histories, and oversight hearings.
Another model of the administrative state contends that Congress, too, has electoral support and represents constituencies and has valid long- standing prerogatives and constitutional powers to control the bureaucracy. According to this model, federal agencies are directed by statutes and congressional oversight, rather than by hierarchical presidential direction. Agencies are located in the executive branch, but they also