Energy and Environmental Governance

Energy and Environmental Governance

client White House Office of Management and Budget instructors David Hayes
deliverables White Paper; Oral Briefing number of students 10 students (Law)
deadline Spring 2015 quarters offered Winter, Spring


Important energy and environmental initiatives cut across many agencies in the federal government, leading to significant policymaking and implementation challenges. Many of the agencies operating in the energy and environmental sphere have overlapping jurisdictions, but they also have different missions, priorities, and resources that push them toward agency-specific policies and programs and away from cross-cutting, government-wide initiatives. The result has been sub-optimal federal implementation of clean energy solutions, responses to climate change, the coordination of regulatory and permitting activity, and the like. In the WINTER QUARTER policy lab (1 unit), students will explore issues related to a variety of these topics. For the final paper, students will have the opportunity to develop their own research topic in consultation with the instructor. In the SPRING QUARTER policy lab (3 units), students will work with the White House’s Office of Management and Budget to scope out the governance challenge and to review and analyze administrative tools (e.g., Executive Orders; Presidential Memoranda; inter-agency Task Forces; budget-led initiatives, etc.) that have been used to address it. Students will develop candid assessments of successes and failures and seek to identify common ingredients that may help predict the efficacy of cross-agency efforts. The policy lab report to the OMB directly contributed to improvements in the 2015 FAST Act, dedicated to streamlining and deploying more effective administrative governance tools in the energy and environmental arenas.

View course information

Clients & Deliverables

Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

Students produced a policy report A 21st Century Governance Challenge: Finding Effective Mechanisms to Address Climate Change Across the Federal Government to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget to assist future Administrations in deploying more effective administrative governance tools in the energy and environmental arenas. Students developed candid assessments of the governance challenge of cross-agency efforts through close analysis of an array of administrative tools, including Executive Orders, Presidential Memoranda, inter-agency Task Forces, and budget-led initiatives.

download report