Scenario 2

The Policy-Making Process

You are the Washington lobbyist for an environmental organization called The Renewable Energy Coalition (REC). Your board includes the heads of 10 major environmental NGOs, several oil company executives, a half-dozen well-known university professors, and the leaders of several coalitions devoted to solar energy, wind energy, alternative fuels, and green technology innovation.

The REC is convinced that the federal government has got to do more to encourage investment in and support for renewable energy production in the United States. Everyone on your Board agrees that federal tax credits for investments in renewable energy production should be increased. Beyond that, the group is split. Some want the federal government to commit billions of dollars to subsidize both the production and the distribution of renewable energy as part of America's new climate change legislation. Others want huge investments in R & D. Others favor targeting and protecting specific renewable energy sources in various ways, although they don't agree on whether solar, terrestrial wind, off-shore wind, biomass, low head hydro, and even nuclear should be singled out. A few members feel that existing state Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) are the way to go - leaving key decisions to the states.

You have been asked by the Board to propose a stategy by which the REC can gain the greatest possible leverage over federal policy-making on this issue. Can you produce a simple diagram indicating how the Board ought to think about the policy-making process with regard to renewable energy (whether in the context of the current climate change legislative debate or in terms of stand-alone legislation)? What are the sources of leverage or influence that a group like the REC might hope to employ? What are the most important moves the REC can make to increase its influence over federal policy-making on renewable energy?

Note: there is no video for Scenario 2.