Kingdon’s Multiple Streams Model and the Inclusion of Energy Title IX in the 2002 Farm Bill
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Executive Summary KINGDON’S MULTIPLE STREAMS MODEL AND THE INCLUSION OF ENERGY TITLE IX IN THE 2002 FARM BILL by Nicholas Gadri April 17, 2015. For U.S. policymakers, ensuring the nation’s energy security is essential not only to energy availability, but also to the country's environment, economy, public health, and general safety. Energy security forms the cornerstone of any country’s economic development, and every business and household depends upon it. U.S. dependence on foreign oil for energy renders it vulnerable to conflicts and political instabilities in oil-producing countries, particularly those in the Middle East. Many stakeholders in diverse sectors of the economy—including energy, transportation, and industry—have advocated replacing traditional oil with alternative energy sources to reduce the nation’s reliance on imported oil. The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks ignited the United States’ debates over energy security. This research addresses energy security as a means of cutting down oil imports from countries associated with terrorism (CBO, 2012). If efforts to ensure energy security are to succeed, we need to understand what makes successful policies successful—that is, how energy policies that do come into existence, manage to do so. One strategy for achieving energy security that has proven more feasible than others, and that has inspired the readiest consensus among politicians and policymakers, is the agricultural solution: specifically, the use of biofuels as an alternative energy source. This master’s project specifically analyzes how the policy process led to the inclusion of Energy Title IX, in the 2002 Farm Bill, the first-ever energy title in a Farm Bill. The title established both direct and indirect federal agriculture-based policies aimed at promoting biofuel feedstock production. These federal policies provided incentives that benefitted farms and rural economies while increasing biofuel feedstock production (Schnepf, 2008, 2011, 2013). Energy Title IX supported energy security by promoting the use of corn-based ethanol feedstock for biofuel production as an alternate source of energy, thereby cutting dependence on foreign oil. The energy title may be the most significant policy yet to be passed in support of U.S. energy security, yet the factors contributing to its passage remain little understood. This study provides a greater understanding of how policy change occurs, when it occurs, and why it fails to occur when it does not occur. An understanding of the process of policy creation will ultimately enable policymakers to develop more effective policies to secure the US energy supply. This master’s project asks the following question: What policy processes between 1970 and 2002 lead to the inclusion of Energy Title IX in the 2002 Farm Bill for the use of corn-based ethanol feedstock for biofuel production in the US? The research study aims to investigate policy processes between 1970 and 2002 leading to the inclusion for the first time in U.S. history of an energy title in the 2002 Farm Bill for the use of corn-based ethanol feedstock for biofuel production in the U.S. as an alternate energy source. Kingdon’s (1984) Multiple Stream Framework was chosen for this analysis. Kingdon’s Multiple Stream framework best explains how one specific policy solution, Energy Title IX, came to be included in the 2002 Farm Bill as a solution for U.S. energy security. The framework for this discussion will investigate the policy processes through the convergence of problem, politics, and policy streams towards a window of opportunity for the inclusion of the first ever energy title in a farm bill in order to promote ethanol production to secure the nation’s energy security. Two alternative models and their shortcomings for analyzing this problem are briefly discussed. The report then examines all three streams in Kingdon’s model—the problem, political, and policy streams—and analyzes how their convergence created a window of opportunity for the creation of a comprehensive policy for U.S. energy security. That policy would take the form of Title IX of the 2002 Farm Bill, which promoted the use of ethanol over traditional oil products for the U.S. energy supply. The terrorist attacks on the United States contributed to both the problem and the political streams that led to the solution. This report presents the following analysis points: • Kingdon’s multiple streams framework offers an explanation of how one specific policy solution (Sabatier 2007), the inclusion of Energy Title IX in the 2002 Farm Bill, was adopted to promote the use of corn-based ethanol feedstock for biofuel production in the United States as an alternate source of energy in order to replace traditional oil for U.S. energy security. • Kingdon’s multiple streams model explains how the three streams converged: The problem stream, in which the problem of energy security captured the attention of the nation after the September 11 attacks, The politics stream, in which the elections of both Congress and President Bush and the subsequent consensus building after the September attacks took away ideological differences between proposers and opposers, and The policy stream, in which policy options emerged from both proposers and opposers in the politics streams to put the solution of biofuels on top of the national agenda and paved the way for the enactment of the 2002 Farm Bill to include Energy Title IX. • In addition, the multiple streams model also assisted us in understanding how the unpopular geographically biased policies of the 2002 Farm Bill encouraged the political streams to promote the use of ethanol as an alternate source of energy to replace oil in the United States. • Despite its limitations, Kingdon’s multiple streams model is a powerful tool for analyzing the U.S. policy changes (Robinson & Eller 2010) that led to the inclusion of Title IX in the 2002 Farm Bill. The purpose of the title was to provide energy security by promoting the use of corn-based ethanol feedstock for biofuel production in the United States. • The multiple streams model explains how the policy problem was constructed in three dimensions, and with solutions matched to the problems. The three streams—problem, policy, and politics—ultimately converged as a window of opportunity opened, making possible the emergence of an important new policy.
CitationGadri, Nicholas (2015). Kingdon’s Multiple Streams Model and the Inclusion of Energy Title IX in the 2002 Farm Bill. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/9605.
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