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									A Typology of Interest Group Behavior During the Implementation of Environmental Policy in Canada and the United States

David R. Shock Assistant Professor of Political Science Department of Political Science & International Affairs Kennesaw State University 1000 Chastain Road, #2302 Kennesaw, GA 30144 e-mail: dshock@kennesaw.edu phone: (770) 423-6037 fax: (770) 423-6312

Paper prepared for delivery at the 2004 Annual Meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 8-10, 2004.

A Typology of Interest Group Behavior During the Implementation of Environmental Policy in Canada and the United States

The objective of this paper is to create a typology explaining interest group behavior during the intergovernmental implementation of environmental policy in Canada and the United States. Based on a review of the literature on intergovernmental implementation in Canada and the United States, four categories of interest group behaviors are developed for the typology using two important factors – the level of fragmentation in a political system and the level of discretion that subnational governments possess during the intergovernmental implementation of environmental policies. The following four categories of interest group behaviors compose the typology: Legislative Lobbying (low fragmentation, low discretion); Bargaining (low fragmentation, high discretion); Multiple Institutional Lobbying (high fragmentation, low discretion); and Intergovernmental Lobbying (high fragmentation, high discretion). Interest group behavior during the intergovernmental implementation of environmental policy in Canada is best explained by the “bargaining” classification because of the relatively low level of fragmentation in the Canadian political system and because of the high level of discretion that provincial governments have over environmental policymaking and implementation. In the United States, the political situation in Washington, DC, affects interest group behavior during the intergovernmental implementation of federal environmental policies. During Democratic presidential administrations, the “multiple institutional lobbying” classification generally explains interest group lobbying activity because of the high level of fragmentation in the American political system and because of the tendency of Democrats to grant relatively low amounts of discretion to state governments during the intergovernmental implementation of federal environmental policies. On the other hand, during Republican presidential administrations, the “intergovernmental lobbying” classification generally explains interest group behavior because of the high level of fragmentation in the American political system and because of the tendency of Republicans to grant relatively high levels of discretion to state governments during the intergovernmental implementation of environmental policies.


A Typology of Interest Group Behavior During the Implementation of Environmental Policy in Canada and the United States David R. Shock

I. Introduction In Canada and the United States, interest groups are important political actors throughout the environmental policymaking process. Interest groups identify policy problems, formulate policy alternatives, lobby for the adoption of particular policy alternatives, influence policy implementation, and produce and interpret policy evaluations. In particular, interest groups play a crucial role in both promoting and obstructing policy objectives during the implementation of public policies (e.g., Mazmanian and Sabatier, 1981, 1989; Sabatier, 1986; Hayes, 1992; and Goggin, Bowman, Lester, and O’Toole, 1990). The objective of this paper is to create a typology explaining interest group behavior during the intergovernmental implementation of environmental policies in Canada and the United States. Both Canada and the United States have federal political systems that are distinct from each other. Understanding the differences in interest group behavior during the intergovernmental implementation of environmental policy in Canada and the United States is important because both countries are currently implementing agreements to protect the North American environment, such as the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1972. By analyzing interest group behavior in two different federal political systems, a broader theory of interest group behavior during the intergovernmental implementation of federal regulatory policies at the subnational level can be developed.

II. Background Both Canada and the United States have federal political systems characterized by a constitutional division of power between a central government and subnational governments. While similarities exist between Canada and the United States, the political dynamics surrounding the adoption and implementation of environmental policy in these two countries are very different. In the United States, environmental policymaking is more centralized in the national government than in Canada. The 3

national Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution authorizes the federal government to overturn and preempt state public policies and actions that are inconsistent with federal policy objectives (Holland, 1996, p. 3). In addition, the U.S. government’s ownership of public lands and control of natural resources gives it direct jurisdiction over large areas of the country, including two-thirds of the western United States (Holland, 1996, p. 3). Moreover, the broad interpretation of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution by the U.S. Supreme Court permits the federal government to regulate virtually every action taken by state and local governments affecting interstate commerce (Holland, 1996, p. 3). While the national government in the United States is dominant in environmental policy, an important distinguishing aspect of Canadian federalism is the extent to which the provinces hold the reigns of environmental policymaking. First, Section 109 of the Constitution Act of 1867 grants the provinces, rather than the federal government, ownership of public lands and natural resources in Canada (Cairns, 1992, pp. 55, 57-58). Second, the Canadian Constitution does not contain a national supremacy clause similar to the American version. As a result, the federal government in Canada lacks the constitutional authority to use coercive tools to force provincial compliance with national environmental objectives. Third, the federal government in Canada is limited in enacting environmental laws because the Canadian Supreme Court has interpreted narrowly the clause in the Canadian Constitution permitting the federal government to regulate interprovincial trade (Holland, 1996, p. 3). Finally, separatist forces in Quebec prevent the federal government in Ottawa from centralizing regulation of the environment. The Canadian federal government is reluctant to pass legislation that would heighten tensions in Quebec. The overall effect of the Quebec separatist threat has been to prevent the federal government from attempting to mandate policies on the provinces in policy areas, such as the environment.

III. Public Policy Frameworks and Interest Group Activity Studies of interest groups indicate that they react differently to different types of public policies. Theodore Lowi (1964) originally categorized public policies into three groups: distributive, regulatory, and redistributive. Distributive policies involve governments engaging in “logrolling” and “pork-barrel” spending. Governments 4

engaging in distributive policymaking grant subsidies to individuals and groups. There is little conflict among interest groups during the adoption and implementation of distributive policies because there are no apparent “losers.” On the other hand, regulatory policies result in greater interest group competition and conflict because “winners” and “losers” are created by these policies. Regulatory policies involve government regulating certain behaviors and activities that might be harmful to others. Finally, redistributive policies result in considerable conflict among groups because governments are transferring wealth from one (or more) group(s) in society to other groups. Group conflict during redistributive policymaking usually occurs along social class lines. Ripley and Franklin (1987) expanded Lowi’s original policy typology. Ripley and Franklin (1987) created a typology that included four domestic policy types (distributive, competitive regulatory, protective regulatory, and redistributive) and three foreign policy types (structural, strategic, and crisis). Ripley and Franklin’s (1987) distributive and redistributive policy types are similar to Lowi’s (1964) descriptions of these policies. Ripley and Franklin (1987) divided Lowi’s regulatory policy classification into “competitive” and “protective regulatory” policy categories. According to Ripley and Franklin (1987, p. 24), competitive regulatory policies are rare and usually “are aimed at limiting the provision of specific goods and services to only one or a few designated deliverers, who are chosen from a larger number of competing potential deliverers.” The licensing of radio and television stations to use specific frequencies is an example of competitive regulatory policymaking. In addition, Ripley and Franklin (1987, p. 24) state that the protective regulatory policies of the federal government “are designed to protect the public by setting the conditions under which various private activities can be undertaken.” According to Ripley and Franklin (1987, p. 24), “[c]onditions that are thought to be harmful (air pollution, false advertising) are prohibited; conditions that are thought to be helpful (the publication of interest rates on loans) are required.” Conflict, bargaining, compromise, and shifting group coalitions characterize the relationships among the competing interest groups involved in protective regulatory policymaking (Ripley and Franklin, 1987, p. 22-23, 143-144). Environmental policy falls into the protective regulatory policy classification. 5

In addition, James Q. Wilson (1973; 1980) found that the activities of interest groups depend on whether the benefits and costs of a policy are concentrated or distributed. The four different types of public policies identified by Wilson (1980, pp. 367-370) are majoritarian (distributed benefits and costs), interest group (concentrated benefits and costs), client (concentrated benefits and distributed costs), and entrepreneurial (distributed benefits and concentrated costs). Little conflict occurs among interest groups if majoritarian policies, such as the Social Security Act of 1935, are at stake (Wilson, 1980, p. 367). Most people in society benefit and pay the costs of the policy. On the other hand, high conflict occurs among interest groups with regard to interest group policies, such as laws protecting labor unions from business management (Wilson, 1980, p. 368). Client policies tend to evoke little group conflict because benefits flow to one group and the costs of the policy are distributed to the whole society, such as subsidies to various types of industries (Wilson, 1980, p. 369). Finally, entrepreneurial policies create some conflict because groups being forced to pay the concentrated costs of protecting society from harm, such as through environmental protection laws, will likely organize and oppose the entrepreneurial policy (Wilson, 1980, p. 370).

IV. Interest Groups and Environmental Policy Implementation in the United States Originally, policymaking in the United States was explained by using the subgovernment (“iron triangles”) model. The subgovernment model of policymaking held that public policymaking was the result of compromise and negotiation among a closed group of executive branch agency officials, interest groups, and members of legislative committees and subcommittees (Lowi, 1964; Ripley and Franklin, 1987). During the past several decades, the closed subgovernment model became outdated as an “advocacy explosion” occurred, which resulted in the breaking up of many closed iron triangles composed of business interests and government officials (Berry, 1997, pp. 199200). Heclo (1978) developed the “issue network” model of policymaking as an alternative to the closed subgovernment model (Heclo, 1978). The issue network model of policymaking held that in many different policy domains, the closed “iron triangles” of the past had been replaced with “issue networks” containing many participants and 6

greater uncertainty. In the environmental policy domain, the rise of issue networks led to more openness in environmental policymaking as both environmental groups and business groups began to lobby government on environmental policies. The literature on intergovernmental policy implementation in the U.S. has analyzed the role of interest groups during the implementation of federal protective regulatory policies at the state level. For instance, Marvel (1982, p. 28) did a study of state implementation of federal occupational safety regulations and found that state bureaucratic agencies were less likely than federal agencies to implement the policies effectively. Marvel (1982, p. 28) found that “[s]tate implementors seem to be more susceptible to forces operative at the state and local levels than federal implementors.” As a consequence, according to Marvel (1982, p. 28), the federal government is more likely to aggressively pursue violations than state-level implementors. In addition, Thompson (1981, p. 1147) analyzed the implementation of state Workmen’s Compensation Laws and found that labor and business group strength in a state was very important in determining implementation outcomes. Furthermore, Thompson and Scicchitano (1985; 1986) found that the activities of interest groups at the state level were important for determining the implementation success of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act. According to Thompson and Scicchitano (1985; 1986), the stronger labor unions were in a state, the more likely that the federal laws would be implemented effectively. Thompson and Scicchitano note an important difference in interest group behavior toward distributive and protective regulatory policies. Interest groups generally promote the implementation of distributive policies because they would likely gain from the policies. However, bureaucratic agencies implementing protective regulatory policies “face an adversarial milieu” where groups targeted by the policy fight its implementation (Thompson and Scicchitano, 1985, p. 686). Protective regulatory policies are much more likely than distributive policies to face opposition during implementation from interest groups. The case study of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted by Thompson and Scicchitano (1986, p. 177) found that OSHA was more aggressive toward the states during the 1970s than during the 1980s. During the 1980s, OSHA adopted a more permissive stance,


which the authors attributed to the election of Ronald Reagan as U.S. President in 1980 (Thompson and Scicchitano, 1986, p. 179). Moreover, Hayes (1992) conducted a case study of the adoption and intergovernmental implementation of the Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. The Act brought surface mining under federal regulation for the first time. The coal industry interests lobbied to have enforcement of the policy conducted by the Interior Department through the states. Environmental groups preferred federal implementation of the Act using the EPA because the Interior Department had a reputation for being friendlier to business interests than the EPA did (Hayes, 1992, p. 104). It was an important victory for the coal interests when implementation of this act was given to the Interior Department and to the states. The Interior Department granted state agencies a substantial amount of discretion in writing rules to implement the policy. According to Hayes (1992, pp. 103-104), “corporate power is maximized at the state level while environmental groups are strongest at the national level.” In addition, Hayes (1992, pp. 72-73) states that business interests have extensive influence in intergovernmental policy implementation because many states are heavily dependent on certain industries for employment and development. States often times avoid aggressive implementation of federal policies for fear of driving these crucial industries to other states (Hayes, 1992, p. 73). In addition, Hayes (1992) notes that policy implementation in the United States is characterized by the presence of many different participants who can undermine policy implementation at “multiple veto points” in the American political system (Hayes, 1992, p. 39). At the federal level, presidential administrations and the courts can influence policy implementation. Presidents can appoint people to executive agencies who can undermine policies (e.g., Reagan and the EPA during the 1980s). Also, interest groups can file suits in federal courts to have rules implementing laws struck down (Hayes, 1992, pp. 36-38). Furthermore, Hoberg (2002, p. 177) states that in the United States the federal government uses coercive means to ensure that state governments implement federal policies. With regard to the Clean Air Acts, according to Hoberg (2002, p. 177), “[s]tates are offered carrots in the form of financial support for state pollution control 8

administration, and are threatened with sticks such as a ban on permitting new sources and loss of highway grants.” Hoberg (2002, p. 178) states, “the United States has generally relied on harder policy instruments in the environmental arena. It has been more willing to use command-and-control regulations to pursue environmental objectives, with legally mandated punitive measure for noncompliance.” During the 1980s, state and local governments received mixed messages from the federal government. During the first two years of the Reagan Administration, Anne M. Gorsuch (Burford), was tapped to head the EPA. Gorsuch had strong anti-regulation views, which mirrored Reagan’s “less government” ideology (McCarthy, 20 March 1983). During the first two years of the Reagan Administration (1981-1983), the budget for the EPA was cut by 29 percent (Meier, 1985, p. 163). Gorsuch stated that EPA fines were tools to be used for “persistent” violations of environmental laws, but that “the emphasis has to be on voluntary participation” (Shabecoff, 21 June 1981, n.p.). In 1982, the Reagan Administration announced proposed changes to EPA water quality standards for state and local governments. The proposed changes in EPA rules and regulations would have eliminated the requirement that states adhere to national water quality standards. The rule changes were designed to provide states with more flexibility for meeting the federal clean water requirements outlined in the Clean Water Act of 1972 and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1972. The changes would have allowed states to have more discretion over determining appropriate clean water standards for individual bodies of water. It was believed by Reagan administration officials that state officials were in a better position to assess the appropriate pollution levels in a specific body of water than the federal government was (Shabecoff, 20 October 1982). The increasing controversy surrounding Gorsuch, including a threatened citation for contempt of Congress, led to her replacement in 1983. William D. Ruckelshaus became the new head of the EPA and he promptly announced plans to reverse the loosening of state water quality requirements (Shabecoff, 1 November 1983). The election of Bill Clinton as President in 1992 signaled a change in direction for the EPA. During the 1990s, the EPA under the Clinton Administration was generally more aggressive toward state and local governments on environmental policy implementation issues than the Reagan Administration had been during the 1980s. 9

However, the 1994 takeover of the Congress by Republicans resulted in a number of skirmishes between President Clinton and the Republican Congress over the necessity for having national environmental regulations. The Republican Congress supported the use of economic cost-benefit analyses before new environmental regulations could be put into effect (Cushman, 22 February 1995, n.p.). The Clinton Administration opposed these rule changes. During the last year of the Clinton Administration, President Clinton and the EPA became more aggressive toward states in regard to environmental regulations. The Clinton Administration issued new rules in 2000 requiring states to control pollution runoff into lakes and streams. Prior to the rule changes, states were required to monitor pollution at the point of discharge, but they were not required to assess the overall health of a body of water. The Republican-controlled Congress strongly criticized the move by the Clinton Administration as a circumvision of congressional policymaking on the environment (Morgan and Eilperin, 12 July 2000, n.p.). The increased aggressiveness of the Clinton Administration during the late 1990s and early 2000s did not carry over into the new George W. Bush Administration in 2001. Bush’s appointment of Christie Todd Whitman to head the EPA marked the beginning of increasing permissiveness on the part of the EPA toward states. The Bush Administration proposed cutting the staff of the EPA’s Washington office by 8 percent during the summer of 2001. In addition, Whitman and the Bush Administration promoted a partnership approach between federal and state environmental agencies and industry (Pianin, 22 July 2001). Proposed rules changes in August 2002 by the Bush Administration were designed to give states more flexibility in the cleanup of bodies of water. The proposed rules changes emphasized voluntary efforts by states to achieve pollution objectives. In addition, they would allow for states to be able to trade pollution credits (Pianin, 8 August 2002).

V. Interest Groups and Environmental Policy Implementation in Canada The literature on policymaking in Canada indicates that a closed model of policymaking called “elite accommodation” explains Canadian intergovernmental environmental policy implementation. The elite accommodation model is similar to the 10

“iron triangle” model used to describe policymaking in the U.S. According to Presthus (1973), the elite accommodation process in Canada is characterized as a closed system of consensual and cooperative policymaking, which results in a few interests dominating the political and policy processes. Building upon the work of Presthus, Pross (1975, pp. 18-19) found that the elite accommodation model in Canada resulted from two factors: (1) “. . . that the policy process appears to operate principally through two relatively closed structures, the party system and the bureaucracy, both of which achieve an apex in the Cabinet” and (2) “the fact that the Canadian political system is based only to a limited extent on a pluralistic, competitive, approach to decision making.” In addition, according to Pross (1975, p. 19), the Canadian political system’s emphasis on “accommodative, consensus-seeking techniques of political communication” automatically favors well-established “elite” status quo interests. Unlike in the United States where conflict among interest groups and government agencies is common, in Canada “groups that are not accommodative and consensus-seeking (issue-oriented groups) have very little chance of achieving desired changes in government policy” (Pross, 1975, p. 19). In addition, Thorburn (1985, p. 121) links the elite accommodation model back to the creation of Canada in 1867. According to Thorburn (1985, p. 121), “[f]rom the outset, the Canadian federal union was designed to accommodate certain dominant business interests concerned with development based on railways.” According to Thorburn (1985), strong railroad interests influenced the creation of the Canadian confederation and the Canadian federal government with a combined legislativeexecutive branch. The railroad interests had direct access to policymakers and regulators, which led to a creation of a closed network of senior government officials, leading politicians, and representatives of major economic interests. Pierce et al. (1992, p. 24) in a study of interest groups in Ontario and Michigan found that a greater centralization of power exists in the Province of Ontario than in the State of Michigan because the governing political party in Ontario controls both the executive and legislative activities of the provincial government. On the other hand, in Michigan, authority for environmental policymaking is spread across the governor,


legislative committees, an air quality commission, and the courts (Pierce et al., 1992, pp. 24-25). Pierce et al. (1992, p. 69-70) note that:

The Canadian policy-making system has been characterized as being closed rather than open, with channels of influence primarily organized hierarchically and based to only a limited extent on a pluralistic, competitive approach to decision making . . . In contrast, the American policy-making system reflects a pluralistic, competitive approach to decision making; the emphasis is on conflict-oriented techniques intended to arouse public opinion . . .

Pierce et al. (1992, p. 167) found in interviews with interest group officials that environmental groups in Ontario tended to focus most of their efforts on contacting toplevel officials in the ministries implementing environmental policies, while Michigan groups contacted a wide range of participants in all three branches of government. In addition, Michigan interest groups were much more likely to file lawsuits in the courts to affect implementation than were groups in Ontario (Pierce et al., 1992, p. 159-160). Furthermore, Harrison (1996, p. 102) found that cooperative bargaining between regulating agencies and polluting industries “is the essence of the environmental regulatory process as it is practised in Canada.” Harrison states that in Canada, the executive in parliamentary governments has almost unlimited discretion in enforcing regulations. Executive agencies use this discretion “by promoting compliance via informal negotiations with polluters, rather than strictly enforcing the ‘black letter law’ by routinely prosecuting non-compliance” (Harrison, 1996, p. 102). Harrison further notes, “regulatory standards as well as schedules for individual polluters to come into compliance typically have been negotiated behind closed doors in a tripartite process involving federal and provincial officials and representatives of the polluting industry” (Harrison, 1996, p. 102). This closed relationship prevents groups promoting the environment from having significant input in implementation negotiations. In addition, according to Gillroy (1999, 370-374), the reason for the widespread use of bargaining and negotiation in Canadian environmental policy implementation is 12

because of the need by the Canadian federal government to maintain a cooperative relationship in the federal political system in order to preserve the Canadian confederation. The threat of Quebec separation results in a highly decentralized environmental policy implementation system based on negotiation and compromise, rather than on coercion. In the United States, the system is more centralized because the federal system is not under threat of dissolution. Gillroy (1999, p. 374) states that “the job of the federal government in Canada is to coordinate concessions among the provinces in confrontations between them and to coordinate the whole so that regional interests and identities are not destroyed in a failure to cooperate.” Gillroy (1999, p. 382) states, “[i]n Canada the federal government does not have final say, so it may be able to come up with a uniform policy without great political infighting, but it will be narrowly focused, and can neither force the implementation of the policy without provincial assent nor represent this viewpoint internationally or comprehensively in treaty negotiation.” As a result of provincial dominance of environmental policy implementation in Canada, dominant economic groups in different provinces can effectively veto attempts by provincial governments to adopt strict environmental regulations. According to Skogstad (1996, p. 108), provinces are reluctant to enact environmental policies that threaten their largest and most important industries. As a result of provincial dominance in environmental policy in Canada, dominant economic interests in a province are likely to prevail over national policy objectives (Skogstad, 1996, p. 108). Moreover, Rabe (1999, p. 290), commenting about provincial-based environmental regulation in Canada, states that “[s]tandards vary significantly across provinces, and although there is no evidence to indicate formal ‘races-to-the-bottom’ provinces clearly are reluctant in any way to alienate industries that might transfer investments to less-rigorous provinces. As one provincial official noted, ‘the bottom line is not environmental protection here, but economic development.’” Bryner (1999, p. 321), in comparing U.S. and Canadian timber policies, states that business interest groups in Canada have more influence in the policy process at the subnational level than groups in the United States because policymakers in Canadian provincial governments, such as British Columbia, had more ability than policymakers at the state level in the United States to craft implementation strategies (Bryner, 1999, p. 13

320). In addition, the structure of the American political system permits non-business groups to have access and influence, whereas in Canada, groups advocating environmental protection are at a clear disadvantage to economic interests at the provincial level. Bryner (1999, p. 320) makes the following observation about interest group participation in forestry/timber policymaking:

Both countries provided some opportunity for affected interests to participate in policymaking, but in Canada public participation was much more channeled and managed by the government; in the United States, it was more of an independent force because of its access to the judicial process. In contrast to its northern neighbor, U.S.style federalism has focused much more on state implementation of federally designed policies, and states have had much less authority to devise their own policy solutions.

In Canada, the judicial system is less important in policy implementation than in the United States. Hoberg (2002, p. 176) states that Canadian environmental policy is rarely litigated in the courts by interest groups and citizens. The unified executivelegislative structure of the federal government means that the same party controls both executive and legislative functions. As a consequence, environmental legislation is written in a manner to make court challenges to implementation difficult (Hoberg, 2002, p. 176). On the other hand, the division of legislative and executive powers in the federal government of the United States results in conflict and distrust between the President and Congress (Hoberg, 2002, p. 176-177). As a result, Congress includes in environmental legislation permission for citizens and interest groups to sue executive branch agencies and polluters over the failure to implement environmental policy (Hoberg, 2002, p. 176177). On the other hand, Hoberg (2002, p. 176) states, “[b]ecause legislation in Canada is written by the government party, there is little incentive to include provisions that


‘fetter the Crown.’ As a result, litigation over environmental issues in Canada is relatively rare.” What are the consequences of the high degree of provincial authority over environmental policy in Canada and the dominance of the national government in environmental policymaking in the United States? Holland (1996, p. 5-6) conducted a comparison of environmental policies in the United States and Canada by using Wilson’s (1980) policy typology for categorizing policies based on how benefits and costs are distributed. According to Holland (1996, p. 5), the dominance of the federal government in the arena of environmental public policy in the United States has led to a system promoting “concentrated costs and distributed benefits” called “entrepreneurial politics.” Holland (1996) states that Wilson’s “entrepreneurial politics” construct explains environmental policy making in the U.S. because the federal government has the authority to pass environmental laws and to force state and local governments to comply with environmental mandates. This system of “concentrated costs and distributed benefits” exists because the federal government wants to promote the protection of the environment (which is very popular with the American public) without taking the political heat for raising taxes to pay for the policies. Holland (1996) states that a system characterized by “majoritarian politics” (in which costs and benefits are both distributed widely) is not feasible because of the political costs of raising federal taxes to pay for environmental protection. According to Holland (1996, p. 8), the primary consequence of the dominance of provinces in the environmental policy arena in Canada is the creation of a system of policymaking promoting what Wilson (1980) refers to as “client politics.” A system of “client politics” is characterized by concentrated benefits and distributed costs. According to Holland (1996, p. 8), “[t]he provincial dominance of environmental decision making means that territorially dominant economic interests will typically prevail over objections from ENGOs [environmental non-governmental organizations] articulating diffuse public interests.” Skogstad (1996, pp. 108-109) identified clientelist tendencies between provincial governments and dominant interests in the provinces. Several provinces are heavily dependent economically on a single natural resource. For instance, Alberta is very dependent on oil and gas for provincial revenues; Quebec is very 15

dependent on the pulp and paper and hydroelectricity industries for jobs and revenues; and British Columbia is very dependent on the forestry industry (Skogstad, 1996, pp. 108-109). Interest groups representing industries, such as forestry, pulp and paper, and oil and gas, are very influential in the provincial legislatures because these industries employ large numbers of workers.

VI. Interest Group Behavior Typology Based on the review of the intergovernmental implementation literature, two important factors emerge for explaining the behavior of interest groups during the subnational implementation of federal environmental policies. First, the level of fragmentation in a political system is important. Fragmentation results from federalism and the separation of powers. The greater the fragmentation of a political system, the more “access points” interest groups have to the political system to influence and undermine policy implementation (Hayes, 1992). The American political system is highly fragmented because of federalism, the separation of powers, and checks and balances among the three branches of government. In Canada, fragmentation is minimized in environmental policymaking because the Canadian Constitution grants authority to the provinces to make policy pertaining to natural resources (Cairns, 1992). In Canada, interest groups desiring to influence environmental policy implementation need to focus on provincial governments. Second, the amount of discretion that subnational (i.e., state, provincial, and local) governments have in implementing federal environmental policies is important. In the United States, the federal government is able to restrict the discretion of state governments during environmental policy implementation because of the national supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution and the federal government’s ownership of vast amounts of land (Holland, 1996; Hoberg, 2002). On the other hand, in Canada, the Canadian Constitution grants ownership of natural resources to the provinces, and as a consequence, environmental policymaking authority to the provincial governments (Cairns, 1992). The Canadian federal government lacks the constitutional authority to restrict provincial discretion in environmental policy (Cairns, 1992; Holland, 1996).


A Typology of Interest Group Behavior during the Intergovernmental Implementation of Environmental Policies
Level of Governmental Fragmentation Level of Subnational Government Discretion Low High


LEGISLATIVE LOBBYING (at the federal level)





LEGISLATIVE LOBBYING In a situation in which both governmental fragmentation and subnational government discretion are low, it is expected that interest groups will focus their implementation efforts on lobbying members of the federal legislature. Interest groups will attempt to lobby members of the legislative body to rewrite provisions of the law to directly benefit certain groups or to increase the discretion of implementing agencies. Without additional discretion, subnational governments have little wiggle room to help groups in the implementation process. In a system with little fragmentation, groups lack the ability to use the courts and other institutions to stop or obstruct implementation.

BARGAINING (Canada) The “bargaining” classification describes interest group activities in Canada during the intergovernmental implementation of environmental policies. The bargaining classification reflects the dominance of the elite accommodation model in Canada, which is similar to the closed subgovernment “iron triangle” model of policymaking used in the past to describe the policy process in the United States. Numerous scholars have analyzed how the elite accommodation model explains environmental policymaking in Canada (e.g., Presthus, 1973; Pross, 1975; Thorburn, 1985; Pierce et al., 1992; Harrison, 1996; and Gillroy, 1999). Elite accommodation in Canadian environmental policy 17

manifests itself through a closed, consensual, and cooperative negotiation process between provincial-level officials and economic interests with few access points for interest groups challenging the status quo. In Canada, fragmentation in environmental policymaking is minimal because the Canadian Constitution clearly gives authority over natural resources to the provinces. Interest groups know that the truly important decisions are made at the provincial level, and not in Ottawa, the nation’s capital. Also, fragmentation is reduced because in Canada the governing political party controls the legislative and executive functions of the federal or provincial governments once elected (Hoberg, 2002). Moreover, in Canada, fragmentation is reduced because it is more difficult than in the United States for interest groups to file lawsuits in court because of more restrictive standing requirements (Hoberg, 2002). During the last couple of decades, the courts in Canada have begun to exercise judicial review powers similar to American courts. However, environmental interest groups in Canada have a more difficult time satisfying standing requirements than American environmental interest groups do. In addition, the review of the intergovernmental environmental policy implementation literature for Canada indicated that provinces have significant discretion to adopt and implement environmental polices. As mentioned earlier, the Canadian Constitution grants authority over natural resources to the provinces. As a consequence, the role of the federal government in Canada is limited in environmental policymaking. Because of the high level of provincial discretion in environmental policymaking, provincial environmental agencies can use their significant discretion on environmental policy concerns to benefit economically important provincial industries (Skogstad, 1996; Rabe, 1999; Howlett, 2002).

MULTIPLE INSTITUTIONAL LOBBYING (United States-Democratic) In the United States, a high level of fragmentation exists in the political system, which permits interest groups to lobby many different institutions and governments to affect the implementation of environmental policies. In both the “Multiple Institutional Lobbying” and “Intergovernmental Lobbying” quadrants, interest groups have access to multiple political institutions and governments in order to influence policy 18

implementation. According to Hoberg (2002, p. 177), “interest groups play a more important role in the US, in part because the institutional process gives them a large number of access points. For example, they can lobby Congress (through either branch), appeal directly to the EPA (or over its head to the President), pursue change through state governments, or take agencies to the courts.” In the United States, interest group behavior during the intergovernmental implementation of federal environmental policies can fall into either the “Multiple Institutional Lobbying” or “Intergovernmental Lobbying” quadrants of the interest group behavior typology depending on the political situation in Washington and the amount of discretion granted to state governments during environmental policy implementation. Changes in presidential administrations and party control in Washington DC affect the level of discretion granted to state and local government agencies to implement federal environmental policies (e.g., Shabecoff, 21 June 1981; Shabecoff, 20 October 1982; McCarthy, 20 March 1983; Shabecoff, 1 November 1983; Meier, 1985; Thompson and Scicchitano, 1986; Cushman, 22 February 1995; Morgan and Eilperin, 12 July 2000; Pianin, 22 July 2001; Pianin, 8 August 2002). Democrats tend to favor federal agencies implementing environmental policies, while Republicans tend to allow the states more discretion to implement environmental policies. Interest group behavior generally falls into the “Multiple Institutional Lobbying” quadrant during Democratic presidential administrations because Democrats tend to distrust state governments more than Republican administrations do. In short, in a federal political system with high governmental fragmentation and low subnational government discretion, interest groups will find it in their interests to lobby many different political actors at the federal level to influence implementation. If state agency discretion is low, is does not pay for an environmental group to focus significant efforts on a state-level agency with little discretion to write rules favorable to the group. Rather, environmental interest groups are better served focusing their lobbying efforts on federal institutions, such as the EPA, the Congress, and the federal courts, to strike down or rewrite the procedures for implementation.


INTERGOVERNMENTAL LOBBYING (United States-Republican) Interest group behavior in the United States generally falls into the “Intergovernmental Lobbying” quadrant if state governments are granted considerable discretion to implement federal environmental laws. Republican presidential administrations tend to give more discretion to subnational (state and local) governments during the intergovernmental implementation of federal environmental laws than Democratic administrations do. The amount of discretion that state-level agencies have is determined by politics in Washington. According to the Intergovernmental Lobbying category, if a high level of subnational discretion and a high degree of fragmentation exist in a federal political system, interest groups will have many access points of influence. If a group does not get its way with a state or provincial environmental agency implementing a federal environmental policy, it can go to the state legislature, the federal environmental agency, the federal legislature body, and the judicial system to affect implementation. Groups can lobby the Congress to revise provisions of the law to make certain requirements more specific to reduce state agency discretion in implementation. In addition, in the United States, environmental interest groups can file lawsuits to both stop and force implementation. The “intergovernmental lobbying” category resembles Hugh Heclo’s (1978) “issue networks” model of policymaking, which is characterized by openness, lots of participants, and multiple access points of influence for interest groups. In short, the more access points that are available in the U.S. permit American environmental groups to participate in a wider range of activities to influence implementation outcomes than groups in Canada enjoy.

VII. Conclusion This paper compliments the interest group and intergovernmental implementation literatures by providing a typology for analyzing how differences in the federal political systems of Canada and the United States affect the activities of interest groups during the intergovernmental implementation of environmental policies. In Canada and the United States, the lobbying activities of interest groups during the intergovernmental implementation of environmental policies are affected by the unique characteristics of the federal political systems of these two countries. On the one hand, environmental interest 20

groups in Canada find their avenues of influence in the policy process to be limited primarily to lobbying provincial governments. In Canada, the Canadian Constitution grants policymaking authority and discretion over natural resources to the provinces. In addition, interest group access to the courts to influence implementation is more limited in Canada than in the United States. Because of the lack of access points to influence the policy process in the Canadian federal system, interest groups develop close cooperative links to provincial agencies. The behavior of interest groups during environmental policy implementation is affected by the dominant position of provincial governments in the policy process. The elite accommodation process in Canada results in environmental groups lacking the access to multiple points of influence in the political system that American environmental groups enjoy because authority over environmental issues in Canada is lodged primarily at the provincial level. On the other hand, environmental interest groups in the United States have multiple points of influence in the American political system. Interest groups can lobby the Congress and executive branch agencies, plus they can file lawsuits in the federal courts to affect the implementation process. In addition, if Congress and the President grant significant discretion over the policy implementation process to state governments, interest groups can lobby institutions in both the federal and state governments to influence policy implementation. The level of discretion that state governments have over environmental policy implementation is dependent on the political atmosphere in Washington. Republicans tend to grant greater discretion to state governments than Democrats during the implementation of environmental policy, while Democrats tend to prefer to lodge discretionary authority for environmental policy implementation in federal agencies, such as the EPA.


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