Institutional Pathologies in the Regulatory State: What Scott Pruitt Taught Us About Regulatory Policy

26 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2019

Date Written: February 22, 2019

Abstract

While Scott Pruitt’s aggressive deregulatory agenda while he served as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency got significant attention, many of his actions have been successfully challenged in the courts. This Article argues that these deregulatory efforts have been plagued by five pathologies that contributed to their legal vulnerability. First, Pruitt’s EPA was driven by political ideology and extremism. Second, he isolated himself from career staff at the EPA. Third, trade associations, which have exerted significant influence, were often dominated by extreme views within the group. Fourth, industry has been slow to adapt to how the Trump Administration has operated. And fifth, short-term political thinking has shifted focus away from long-term policy success.

These pathologies were not limited to Pruitt’s hapless tenure. They continue to hobble the work of the EPA and of other agencies in the Trump Administration and could stand in the way of the accomplishments of future administrations — both Republican and Democratic.

Keywords: Administrative Law, Regulatory Policy, Environmental Policy, Deregulation, Environmental Protection Agency, Trade Associations

JEL Classification: K, K23, K32, Q, Q28, Q5, Q58, P48

Suggested Citation

Revesz, Richard L., Institutional Pathologies in the Regulatory State: What Scott Pruitt Taught Us About Regulatory Policy (February 22, 2019). Journal of Land Use & Environmental Law, Vol. 34, 2019, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3340215 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3340215

Richard L. Revesz (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States
212-998-6185 (Phone)
212-995-4590 (Fax)

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