Regulatory Rulemaking to Implement Congressional Legislation

Lessons from the Powerplant and Industrial Fuel Use Act of 1978

by Frank Camm


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The Powerplant and Industrial Fuel Use Act was one of the five principal components of the National Energy Act of 1978. Over thirty complex rulemakings were required to implement it. This report is a case study of these rulemakings based on extensive interviews with the personnel who supervised, supported, and reviewed them. The conduct of the rulemakings provides valuable insights into the more general policy implementation issues of how an agency determines its specific authority to act, how it uses formal analysis to design specific policies, and what role budgetary control systems can play in regulatory policymaking.

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