Scientists at the Mid-Continent Ecological Science Center of the National Biological Service conducted a series of case studies of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license consultations. The goal of these studies was to test hypotheses abbot factors that contribute to success in interagency negotiations. Based on their analysis of six case studies, the researchers constructed a list of ten "rules for success." Examples include: Analyze the incentives of each party to negotiate, paying special attention to parties who gain by not negotiating; Clarify the technical issues so that all agree and they coincide with resource management objectives; and make sure the final agreement is feasible form both a physical and a policy perspective so that it can actually be implemented. These rules can be used to plan for negotiations and to diagnose ongoing negotiations.
This article presents results from a case study of hydropower licensing, a program that was transformed during the period 1978-1988. New legislation promoted extensive development of hydropower projects and stimulated reactions by a threatened environmental community. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission altered virtually every significant aspect of its licensing program in response to these external pressures. More than remarkable adaptability, this case demonstrates that regulatory institutions may yield their discretionary powers in order to maintain productivity and responsiveness. While they are closely related in most regulatory situations, productivity and responsiveness are sometimes incompatible. When such a conflict occurs, this research suggests that the agency may sacrifice a degree of productivity to maintain responsiveness. This study also shows that through the creative use of familiar regulatory tools, notably rule making and negotiation, an agency can enlist external agencies and groups in its efforts to be productive and responsive.
We investigated the "need to negotiate" in a comparative case study of multi-agency negotiations in the FERC licensing process. Researchers interviewed participants in two cases involving environmental consultations and asked about parties' level of need to negotiate throughout the process. Participants identified a need to negotiate, and when this need was strongly felt, there was an increased opportunity for an agreement to be reached. An intense need to negotiate by all parties is not a prerequisite to successful agreements. When key participants have a strong need to negotiate, they can instigate negotiations and encourage the involvement of other parties.