There are a number of different organizations within the United States government that deal with climate change, and an even greater number within various state and local governments. Every state and local government is concerned with the potential fallout from environmental-related issues. Each relationship in the network of organizations that deals with the issue of climate change is very complex and many have overlapping tasks and responsibilities to ensure that there is not an overabundance of power or responsibility in any particular area.
There are a number of different organizations in the United States of America that deal with the issue of climate change. Climate change is becoming an issue of greater and greater concern to the American government, although Americans as a whole have been less willing than their European peers to accept the reality of climate change over the years (Byrne et al. 2007). However, the current American administration has accepted that climate change is a problem, and has tasked a number of different governmental organizations with dealing with the issue.
Perhaps the most prevalent organization in terms of climate change and climate change policies is the Environmental Protection Agency, or the EPA. The EPA has a number of different responsibilities; it is not limited to climate change. The EPA is a government-sponsored federal agency, meaning that it uses federal monies to perform the works that it does (Heinzerling 2012). The EPA has had a scattered history on the topic of climate change; although it has long recognized climate change to be a problem it has not had the power or the money to enact policies that will significantly reduce the impact of climate change overall (Heinzerling 2012). The EPA, while not an organization that is subject to the whims of the voters, is heavily influenced by the administration that is in power at any given time (Heinzerling 2012). It is responsible for formulating and presenting ideas to the Senate and House committees on the environment and energy; these committees, discussed later, are the committees with the power to accept such plans into action. The EPA is responsible for doing much of the intellectual heavy lifting insofar as climate change is concerned, but in reality, they have very little power to enact policies without the acceptance of other branches of government.
The United States House and Senate both have committees-- small groups of Congressmen and Congresswomen-- that preside over the issue of climate change and energy efficiency (Leiserowitz et al. 2009). The task of these individuals is to address the issues that groups like the EPA and other non-governmental groups bring before them: they address recent research, action proposals, and so on. They also propose and enact legislation regarding regulation of the energy industry, and oversee the dispersal of funds to groups like the EPA (Leiserowitz 2012). Each committee is responsible for a number of environmental and public issues; the committee ensures that the EPA is addressing all of the issues that need to be addressed, and that the EPA is utilizing funds in the proper manner. This ensures that there is a check on the power of both groups.
Climate change is a growing problem, and the infrastructure that exists to deal with this growing problem has been expanding as well. This expansion is a response to the increasing complexity of climate change and climate change policies. Because climate change continues to be a problem, it can be expected that the infrastructure necessary to contain the issue at a federal, state, and local level will also continue to grow.
Byrne, John, Kristen Hughes, Wilson Rickerson, and Lado Kurdgelashvili. 2007. 'American Policy Conflict In The Greenhouse: Divergent Trends In Federal, Regional, State, And Local Green Energy And Climate Change Policy'. Energy Policy 35 (9): 4555--4573.
Heinzerling, Lisa. 2012. 'Climate Change At EPA'. Fla. L. Rev. 64: 1.
Leiserowitz, Anthony, Edward Maibach, and Connie Roser-Renouf. 2009. 'Climate Change In The American Mind: Americans’ Climate Change Beliefs, Attitudes, Policy Preferences, And Actions'.Yale University And George Mason University. New Haven, CT: Yale Project On Climate Change. Available.