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Keywords:

  • energy;
  • environment;
  • governance;
  • pollution

Abstract

This paper investigates the beliefs and framing strategies of interest groups during a period of policy change and the factors explaining policy change. We develop propositions to explore questions concerning policy change primarily from the advocacy coalition framework as well as from other theorie. The propositions are tested by examining the promulgation of a Colorado regulation requiring the disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. Using coded data of documents published by organizations involved in the rulemaking process, we find divergence between industry and environmental groups on their beliefs concerning hydraulic fracturing, as well as their portraying themselves and each other as heroes, victims, and villains, but some convergence on their more specific beliefs concerning disclosure of chemicals. Interviews point to the importance of policy entrepreneurs, timing, a negotiated agreement, and learning for explaining policy change. The findings provide both theoretical and methodological insights into how and why policy changes.