Reinventing Environmental Regulation: Lessons from Project XL

Front Cover
Resources for the Future, 2002 - Science - 242 pages
Project XL (eXcellence and Leadership) was the flagship effort by the Clinton administration for 'cleaner, cheaper, and smarter' regulation. Under Project XL, business promised better performance in exchange for a regulatory approach focused more on results than means, with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) measuring pollution reduction across rather than at individual sources within a facility. Reinventing Environmental Regulation is a compelling account of the breakdown in negotiations to implement Project XL at a tape manufacturing plant of 3M, a company widely recognized as environmentally progressive. Marcus, Geffen, and Sexton discuss the conflicting goals of participants, the influences of personality and organizational culture, and complications caused by changes in 3Ms external business environment. They compare the 3M case with EPA negotiations involving Intel, Merck, and Weyerhaeuser, finding similarly contentious, though less fatal disagreements about the meaning of 'superior environmental performance.' In common with other recent proposals, Project XL emphasized cooperative, flexible regulatory approaches. Reinventing Environmental Regulation demonstrates the difficulty of putting these appealing ideas into practice, while offering encouragement for continued innovations.
 

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Contents

Environmental Policy in Transition
1
Quid Pro Quo and the Birth of Project XL
10
Conflicting Goals
24
Complicating Factors
46
Drafting the 3M Proposal
58
Gaining EPA Support for the Agreement
75
The Practical Impediments
89
Three XL Projects That Gained Approval
111
Roadblocks to Cooperative Solutions
159
Creating a Platform for Experiments
179
The Comparable Actions Test
197
A More Unambiguous Definition of Superior
205
References
211
Acknowledgements
223
About the Authors
241
Copyright

Comparing the Approved Projects with 3Ms Proposal
147

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About the author (2002)

Alfred A. Marcus is a professor in the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. Donald A. Geffen is research associate at the Strategic Management Research Center at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. Ken Sexton is Bond Professor of Environmental Health Policy at the University of Minnesota.

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