Policy/Law

Sources of Bureaucratic Delay: A Case Study of FERC Dam Relicensing

Source: 
The Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization
Volume: 
22
Year: 
2005
Abstract: 

This paper investigates the sources for regulatory delay in bureaucratic decision making, testing regulatory capture, congressional dominance, and bureaucratic discretion theories of agency behavior.

The empirical context concerns relicenses issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for hydroelectric dams, which have taken anywhere from just ten months to over sixteen years to be issued. The reasons for this heterogeneity in regulatory processing times can be expected to be varied and numerous and indeed we find evidence that outside interest groups, the legislature, and bureaucratic discretion are all significant in affecting regulatory processing times. Our most intriguing results concern the effects of environmental interest groups, which, despite their apparent benefit/cost motivation to hasten the relicensing process (independent of relicensing outcomes), overall end up slowing it down.

Author(s): 

Lea-Rachel D. Kosnik

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Water: The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change for the Water Resources of the United States

Year: 
2000
Abstract: 

The overall goal of the National Assessment is to analyze and evaluate what is known about the potential consequences of climate variability and change for the Nation in thecontext of other pressures on the public, the environment, and the Nation's resources. Itis also addressing the question about why we should care about, and how we might effectively prepare for, climate variability and change.

Author(s): 

Peter H. Gleick et. al.

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Climate change and the world’s river

Source: 
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Volume: 
6
Year: 
2007
Abstract: 

Major rivers worldwide have experienced dramatic changes in flow, reducing their natural ability to adjust to and absorb disturbances. Given expected changes in global climate and water needs, this may create serious problems,including loss of native biodiversity and risks to ecosystems and humans from increased flooding or water shortages.Here, we project river discharge under different climate and water withdrawal scenarios and combine this with data on the impact of dams on large river basins to create global maps illustrating potential changes in dischargeand water stress for dam-impacted and free-flowing basins. The projections indicate that every populatedbasin in the world will experience changes in river discharge and many will experience water stress. The magnitude of these impacts is used to identify basins likely and almost certain to require proactive or reactive managementintervention. Our analysis indicates that the area in need of management action to mitigate the impacts ofclimate change is much greater for basins impacted by dams than for basins with free-flowing rivers. Nearly one billion people live in areas likely to require action and approximately 365 million people live in basins almost certainto require action. Proactive management efforts will minimize risks to ecosystems and people and may be lesscostly than reactive efforts taken only once problems have arisen.

Author(s): 

Margaret A Palmer, Catherine A Liermann, Christer Nilsson, Martina Flörke, Joseph Alcamo, P Sam Lake, Nick Bond

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FERC's First-in-time Rule: An Impediment to Hydropower Development

Source: 
Energy Law Journal
Volume: 
5.1
Year: 
1984
Abstract: 

This paper takes a look at the FERC's "first-in-time" policy for granting preliminary permits to new hydropower projects concluding that FERC's policy contradicts Federal Power Act's directive to the Commission. The paper also argues that this policy also does not allow for competition for licensing.

Author(s): 

Barbara E. Schneider

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