John D. Graham

Collection: Perspectives on Modern Regulatory Governance
Dates of interview: March 2, 2016 and April 21, 2016
Interviewer: Ashton Merck, Edward Balleisen (Jonathan Wiener – first interview only)
Interview length: Two sessions of approximately two hours each
Transcript: (PDF)
Location of interview: Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University, Durham, NC

Brief biography: John D. Graham was the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) from 2001-2006. Graham holds an M.A. in Public Affairs from Duke University and a B.A. from Wake Forest University, and received his Ph.D. in Urban and Public Affairs from Carnegie Mellon University. Graham is a leading scholar in the field of risk analysis and cost-benefit analysis, authoring or co-authoring 10 books and over 200 articles. Graham founded the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis in 1989 and directed it until he left for OIRA in 2001. After leaving OIRA, Graham became an academic administrator; Graham is currently the Dean of the School for Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University.

Brief summary: The first interview provides an overview of Graham’s early life and professional trajectory as an academic, concluding with his nomination for the position of OIRA Administrator, and describing the experience of the Senate confirmation process. The second interview discusses Graham’s tenure as OIRA administrator, including several significant changes to OIRA’s policies and practices, as well as the substance of several key regulations that were subjected to OIRA review during Graham’s term in office. The interview includes a discussion of Graham’s career since completing his service in government, and some reflections on the past and future of regulatory review.

Time range of discussion: 1978-2015

Agencies mentioned:
Office of Management and Budget
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Council on Competitiveness
Council on Wage and Price Stability
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Environmental Protection Agency
National Transportation and Highway Safety Administration
Office of Science and Technology Policy

Institutions mentioned:
Brookings Institution
Center for Science and the Public Interest
Harvard University Kennedy School of Government
Harvard Center for Risk Analysis
Harvard School of Public Health
ILSI International Life Sciences Institute
Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs
Mercatus Center
National Academy of Sciences
National Science Foundation
Office of Economic Cooperation and Development
Pardee RAND School
Resources for the Future
Union of Concerned Scientists

Firms mentioned:
BASF/Bayer, Cummins Engine, DuPont, Dow Chemical, Rohm and Haas, Shell

Legislation, rules, and judicial rulings mentioned:
Circular A-4
Information Quality Act
Sarbanes-Oxley Act
Industrial Union Department, AFL-CIO v. American Petroleum Institute, et al. 448 U.S. 607 (1980) (the “benzene decision”)
Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association of the United States, Inc., et al. v. State Farm Automobile Insurance Company et al., 463 U.S. 29 (1983)

Locations mentioned:
Carnegie Mellon University
Duke University
Harvard University
Washington, D.C.

Regulatory concepts discussed:
cost-benefit analysis
impact assessment
prompt letter
return letter
risk assessment

People mentioned:
Nancy Beck
Eula Bingham
James Blumstein
Joshua Bolten
Stephen Breyer
James S. Coleman
Susan Collins
Robert W. Crandall
Mitch Daniels
Tom Daschle
Bob Dole
Dick Durbin
Christopher Edley, Jr.
John Evans
Harvey Fineberg
Arthur Finkelstein
Steven Garber
Newt Gingrich
Wendy Gramm
Laura Green
Thomas Grumbly
Patricia Gwaltney (McGinnis)
Jim Hammond
Dennis Hastert
Jeff Holmstead
Al Hubbard
Bennett Johnston
Sally Katzen
Lester Lave
Carl Levin
Joseph Lieberman
Charles Lindblom
Trent Lott
Granger Morgan
Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Paul Noe
Howard Raiffa
William Reilly
William Ruckelshaus
Eileen Serene
Olympia Snowe
Cass Sunstein
Kimberly Thompson
Fred Thompson
James Vaupel
Arnold Weber
Milt Weinstein
Christie Todd Whitman
Jonathan Wiener

Selected bibliography for additional background:

  • Graham, John D., and James W. Vaupel. “The Value of a Life: What Difference Does It Make?” In Risk/Benefit Analysis in Water Resources Planning and Management, 233–43. Springer US, 1981.
  • Graham, John D., and Patricia Gorham. “NHTSA and Passive Restraints: A Case of Arbitrary and Capricious Deregulation.” Administrative Law Review, 1983, 193–252.
  • Tengs, Tammy O., Miriam E. Adams, Joseph S. Pliskin, Dana Gelb Safran, Joanna E. Siegel, Milton C. Weinstein, and John D. Graham. “Five-Hundred Life-Saving Interventions and Their Cost-Effectiveness.” Risk Analysis 15, no. 3 (1995): 369–90.
  • Graham, John D. “The Perils of the Precautionary Principle: Lessons from the American and European Experience.” Vol. 818. Heritage Foundation, 2004.
  • Graham, John D., Paul R. Noe, and Elizabeth L. Branch. “Managing the Regulatory State: The Experience of the Bush Administration.” Fordham Urban Law Journal 33 (2005): 953.
  • Bagley, Nicholas, and Richard L. Revesz. “Centralized Oversight of the Regulatory State.” Columbia Law Review 106, no. 6 (2006): 1260–1329.
  • Graham, John D. “Saving Lives through Administrative Law and Economics.” University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 2008, 395–540.
  • Wiener, Jonathan Baert, and John D. Graham. Risk vs. Risk: Tradeoffs in Protecting Health and the Environment. Harvard University Press, 2009.

Select newspaper articles

  • Stephen Power, Jacob M. “Redrawing the Lines: Bush’s Rules Czar Brings Long Knife to New Regulations — `Smart’ Style Helps to Disarm Critics while Developing Business-Friendly Agenda — Outdoing EPA on Emissions.” Wall Street Journal, Jun 12, 2002, Eastern edition.
  • Cindy Skrzycki, “Nominee’s Business Ties Criticized,” The Washington Post, May 15, 2001, E01.
  • “Graham’s Cracker.” Wall Street Journal, Jun 27, 2001, Eastern edition.
  • Ellen Nakashima, “Influence of Industry on Rules Agency Questioned,” The Washington Post, March 13, 2002, A27.
  • Ellen Nakashima, “For Bush’s Regulatory ‘Czar,’ The Equation Is Persuasion; Graham Wields Cost-Benefit Analysis For, Against Rules,” The Washington Post, May 10, 2002, 35.
  • ———. “Regulations Face Stiffer Review in Win for Bush Business Allies.” Wall Street Journal, Aug 29, 2003, Eastern edition.
  • Judith Weinraub, “The Hidden Fat; Some scientists have known about the dangers of trans fats for more than two decades. What took the government so long?” The Washington Post, September 10, 2003, F01.
  • McKinnon, John D. “How U.S. Rules are made is Still a Murky Process.” Wall Street Journal, Oct 22, 2003, Eastern edition.
  • Alex Fryer, “Bush administration’s gatekeeper weighs costs, benefits of new regulations.” Seattle Times, September 29, 2004.
  • Cindy Skrzycki, “Report Sheds Light on Changing Role of Regulation,” The Washington Post, January 25, 2005, E01.
  • Rick Weiss, “’Data Quality’ Law Is Nemesis Of Regulation,” The Washington Post, August 16, 2004, A1.
  • Cindy Skrzycki, “Looking Back on the Presidents’ Policy Wonks,” The Washington Post, November 1, 2005, D01.

Amy Pickle

Collection: Perspectives on Modern Regulatory Governance
Date of interview: April 17, 2015 and April 29, 2015
Interviewers: Kate Preston; Edward Balleisen and Ashton Merck
Interview length: Two sessions of two hours each (no audio access)
Transcript: Not available
Location of interview: Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University, Durham, NC

Biography:  Amy Pickle graduated from the University of Florida, Gainesville in 1994 with a B.A. in English and B.S. in Chemistry.  She graduated from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Law in 2000, where she was involved with the community of environmental lawyers and was on the Environmental Law Review.  From 2001-2003, Pickle was Assistant Attorney General for the NC Department of Justice.  She focused on administrative property, contract and environmental laws and oversaw the implementation of the Smithfield Agreements.  After leaving the DOJ, Pickle became the Lead Water Quality Attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center from 2003-2008, where she continued to work closely with a variety of stakeholders on North Carolina water policy.  Since 2008, Pickle has been the Director for State Policy at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University.  Since 2014, Pickle has been the Vice Chair of the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission.

Brief summary: The first interview spans Amy’s early life up to her recent appointment as Director for State Policy at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions; the second interview focuses on her work on the Mining and Energy Commission and hydraulic fracturing in North Carolina.  Interview access is currently restricted.  Please see the Timeline of Hydraulic Fracturing in North Carolina for more details.

Time range of discussion: 1994 – 2014

Institutions discussed
NCDENR – Division of Water Quality, Division of Air Quality
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Conservation Service
NC Coastal Resources Commission
NC Environmental Management Commission
U.S. Geological Survey
Energy Information Administration

Legislation and rules discussed
Smithfield Agreement
Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (REPS)
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
Oil Pollution Control Act
Falls Lake Nutrient Strategy

notice-and-comment rulemaking, stakeholder groups, regulatory reform, regulatory diffusion, negotiated rulemaking, trade secrets, regulatory capture

Specific locations discussed
Duplin County
Sampson County
Durham County
Anson County

Firms mentioned
Research Triangle Institute (RTI)
Swine: Smithfield Foods, Murphy Farms, the Alliance for the Responsible Swine Industry, Frontline Farmers
Environmental Law: Environmental Law Project, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions (NIEPS), Waterkeepers Alliance, Southern Environmental Law Center, The Environmental Defense Fund
Oil/Petroleum: Center for Sustainable Shale, American Petroleum Institute

Mining and Energy Commission: Rules Committee, Environmental Standards Committee, Water and Waste Committee, Administration of Oil and Gas Committee

Hurricane Floyd, Hydraulic fracturing, water quality

People mentioned
Don Horstein, Ryke Longest, Joe Kalo, Mike Easley, Roy Cooper, Rick Dove, Bill Holman, Beverly Perdue, Dave Murrow, Dr. Kenneth Taylor, Dr. Jeff Reid, Jim Womack, Vikram Rao

Robin W. Smith

Collection: Perspectives on Modern Regulatory Governance
Date of interview: March 23, 2015 and April 8, 2015
Interviewer: Ashton Merck; Edward Balleisen, Kate Preston
Interview length: Two sessions of two hours each (~4:00:00)
Transcript: PDF (audio not available)
Location of interview: Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University, Durham, NC

Biography: Over the last twenty-five years, Robin Smith has served the state of North Carolina as an environmental regulator and policymaker.  She spent ten years as a Special Deputy Attorney General; in 1999, she was appointed to Secretary of the Environment at NCDENR.  Smith is best known for authoring the legislatively-mandated Oil and Gas Study in 2012, in which she advocated for a strong regulatory framework in the case that North Carolina chose to undertake hydraulic fracturing.  Smith retired from DENR in 2013 to start her own practice, but continues to be involved in local and national environmental law and policy issues.

Brief summary: The interview is divided into two parts; the first section focuses on Smith’s formative years, including the transition from her time as Special Deputy Attorney General to DENR.  The second interview is much more issue-driven, beginning with water and coastal issues, along with a discussion of her role as lead author in the Shale Gas study on hydraulic fracturing in North Carolina.  The second interview concludes with her reflections on the future of environmental policy in North Carolina.

Time range of discussion: 1987 – 2015

Institutions mentioned:
Environmental Protection Agency
UNC School of Government
DENR Coastal Management Program
NC Coastal Resources Commission
NC Environmental Management Commission
NC Mining and Energy Commission

Legislation and rules mentioned:
Administrative Procedures Act
Coastal Area Management Act (N.C.)
Clean Water Act
Sedimentation Act (N.C.)
Phase II Stormwater Permitting Program
Clean Smokestacks Act
Jordan Lake Nutrient Strategy

Locations mentioned:
High Point, NC
Brunswick County
Wrightsville Beach
Shell Island Resort
Jordan Lake
Guilford County
Haw River
Catawba River
Figure Eight Island
Bald Head Island
Mason’s Inlet
Dare County (Hwy. 12)
Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Sanford, NC (Lee County)

Regulatory concepts discussed:
Variances and permitting
Adjudicative hearings
Oceanfront setbacks
Public comment
“Regulatory reform”
Cost-benefit analysis
Stakeholder groups

Firms mentioned:
Duke Energy
Southern Environmental Law Center

People mentioned:
Larry Goodwin
Parker Chesson
Terrence Boyle
Jesse Helms
Jim Martin
Pat McCrory
Mike Easley
Beverly Perdue

Events discussed:
Hurricane Floyd

Extended Biography: Over the last twenty-five years, Robin Smith has served the state of North Carolina as an environmental regulator and policymaker. She received her law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1981. After graduating from law school, Smith worked as an attorney for the police department in High Point, North Carolina for approximately two years. Next, Smith work as a staff attorney for the Coastal Management Agency; there, she dealt with permits, variances, and provided legal counsel to agency staff. In 1987, Smith joined the Attorney General’s office as a Deputy Attorney General. Smith split her time at the Attorney General’s office between working with commissions and environmental litigation.

In 1999, Smith was appointed to Assistant Secretary for the Environment at the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources.[1] Smith started work two weeks after Hurricane Floyd devastated the coastal plains of North Carolina. Smith’s first week on the job involved dealing with the crisis of overflowing swine waste lagoons and the subsequent groundwater contamination as a result of record-breaking flooding in the eastern part of the state. Smith would go on to address issues of importance throughout North Carolina, focusing her energies on coastal policy and water policy based on her previous expertise. Moreover, as part of her role in DENR, Smith served as a member of the State Water Infrastructure Council and the N.C. Pesticide Board[2] as the DENR representative.

During the drought in the mid-2000’s, Smith was an advocate of conservation measures[3]. In May 2008[4], Smith assisted with the development draft legislation meant to equalize minimum standards[5] for water conservation across the state, and changes to reporting requirements that drew the ire of local farmers.[6] In 2011, Smith was the primary author on the legislatively-mandated North Carolina Oil and Gas Study[7] that was presented to the General Assembly in 2012. In that study, Smith advocated that a strong regulatory framework was necessary if the state intended to pursue unconventional shale gas through hydraulic fracturing.

Since leaving DENR, Smith continues to be involved with environmental issues in North Carolina, most notably by commenting[8] and consulting on the recent coal ash dispute. Smith currently practices law independently in the Raleigh area and blogs about N.C. environmental policy at SmithEnvironment.[9]

  • Written by Ashton Merck, 05/2014


[1] Christensen, Rob. “Hunt’s trip to Japan cancelled.” News & Observer (Raleigh, NC), October 01, 1999: A3. Within several shorter articles, Robin’s appointment to DENR is announced: “Robin Smith, a special deputy attorney general in the Environmental Division of the state Attorney General’s Office, has been named assistant secretary for environmental protection at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, effective Oct. 11. As a deputy attorney general, Smith provided legal representation and guidance to DENR and served as counsel to the Coastal Resources Commission, the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and was also a member of the mining, sedimentation and radiation protection commissions.”

[2] Notably, Robin served on the Pesticide Board during the Ag-Mart case in which workers for tomato grower Santa Sweet experienced adverse health effects from pesticides used by the grower. See – Collins, Kristin. “State to rethink 271 charges in Ag-Mart case,” News & Observer (Raleigh, NC), February 13, 2008: B5. The Ag-Mart case and Robin’s role in the Pesticide Board was not discussed in the interviews.

[3] Locke, Mandy. “State says use of ‘gray water’ OK,” News & Observer (Raleigh, NC), March 12, 2008: B1. In mid-2008, the state permitted ‘gray water’ or used water (i.e. bathwater) for use to water plants and yards. Piping bathwater into yards was still illegal, and in her statement, Smith indicated that the state would not look into other uses for gray water. Smith cautioned residents not to “go crazy” with gray water – to water by hand, and be careful that only plants are taking in the water.

[4] Eisley, Matthew. “Statewide water rules on table,” News & Observer, The (Raleigh, NC), May 19, 2008: B1. The state is trying to offer consumers, cities, and counties a shared set of water rules and encourage milder conservation before droughts happen. Farm groups opposed the bill, citing that their water use is seasonal and unpredictable. Advocates of the bill said that the reason for lowering the reporting threshold is not to limit water use, but to get better information about how water is used. Population growth is cited as a reason to be more concerned about water conservation. The NC plan regulates by basin; by comparison, the Georgia plan regulates by metropolitan area. Smith commented that “We need to keep an eye on the regional picture. There may be a need to share water.” In her interview, Smith noted that the city of Raleigh is really in need of a new source of water altogether. On the farmer reporting issue, Smith said that the bill was simply “about getting information, so that we can better anticipate water needs.”

[5] Bonner, Lynn. “Control of water by state at issue,” News & Observer (Raleigh, NC), June 12, 2008: A1. Concerns about water rights, and the jurisdiction of state regulations over local regulations, made this bill a contentious issue. Robin is quoted as saying: “The idea is to have minimum measures consistent across the state.”

[6] Eisley, Matthew. “Despite rain, drought still going,” News & Observer (Raleigh, NC), June 24, 2008: B3. This article continued earlier reportage by noting that the bill had been delayed at the objections of farmers.

[7] Smith, Robin. North Carolina Oil and Gas Study Under Session Law 2011-276. NCDENR and NCDOC. April 30, 2012. 1-504.

[8] Jarvis, Craig and John Murawski. “Bill seeks coal ash deadline – Senate measure would close all storage ponds in 15 years,” News & Observer, (Raleigh, NC), June 17, 2014: 1A. The coal ash bill mandates that the ash ponds must be closed, but environmental groups observed that it remains unclear exactly how that will happen, who will enforce it, and who will pay for it. Senators are generally supportive of the bill. ; Jarvis, Craig. “Coal ash board finally ready to dig – N.C. panel responsible for cleanup, storage to meet Friday,” News & Observer, (Raleigh, NC), November 13, 2014: 1A. Smith is quoted from her blog, expressing concern that the deadlines are unrealistic and there could be interagency tensions over regulatory power.

[9] Smith, Robin. SmithEnvironment. (accessed May 5, 2015)

Oral History of the Texas Oil Industry

Project description: This collection consists of 179 interviews transcribed and indexed interviews recorded with participants in the Texas oil industry. The finding aid characterizes interviewees as “roughnecks, drillers, promoters, financiers, contractors, leasemen and law officers.”

Regulatory significance: Difficult to assess given that the collection is not available online. If you are familiar with this collection, please contact us with more information.

RepositoryUniversity of Texas – Austin

Interview dates: 1952 – 1958

Digital access: No online access.

Physical access: For access to interview materials, visit the Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas. Finding aid says that audio recording is by appointment only at archive, but seems likely from description of project that transcripts are available.


University of North Texas Legislative Project

Project description: This project was established by the Oral History program of North Texas State University in 1966, and it was still ongoing in 1985. The program appears to be discontinued now and the interviews absorbed into the broader UNT oral history program archives.

Regulatory significance: The project interviewed legislators and other state government officials, including regulatory board and commission members. Interviews occurred every two years, at the close of biennial legislative sessions and topics ranged across the spectrum of policy issues encountered during the session. (For a detailed description of project history and methodology, see Ronald E. Marcello, “Interviewing Contemporary Texas Legislators: An Atypical Approach,” The Public Historian 7:4 (Fall 1985): 53-64.)

Repository: University of North Texas

Interview dates: 1966 ~ 1990

Digital access: No online access. The UNT interview guide (linked below) has abstracts of archived interviews, including those produced though the Legislative Project.

Physical access: For access to transcripts, visit the Wills Library at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.

Link: There is no dedicated link to this project, but see this pdf oral history guide for information that includes these interviews.

North Carolina Business History Project

Project description: These interviews are with leaders of traditional and emergent North Carolina industries, such as furniture, banking, tobacco products, textiles, poultry, food and food services, tourism, pharmaceuticals, computers, and steel. Interviewees describe the origins and evolution of their companies as well as the changes and problems they confront. They are also asked about the impact of businesses on the communities in which they operate and about the regional, national, and global developments that will affect their future prospects. [Description from the finding aid]

Regulatory significance: Many interviewees discuss government regulation of their businesses, often in a negative context and as an additional reason for competitive problems during the 1970s and 1980s.

RepositoryUniversity of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Interview dates: 1995 – 1997

Digital access: Transcripts for many of these interviews are available online.

Physical access: For access to all audio and archived material, visit the Southern Historical Collection at the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC.

Link: North Carolina Business History Project

Nevada Test Site Oral History Project

Project description: This program consists of 150 interviews that document the history of the Nevada Test Site during the Cold War. Interviewees include: national laboratory scientists and engineers; support staff; inspectors; AEC/NRC officials; US Department of Energy officials, US Public Health Service officials; and EPA officials.

Regulatory significance: A brief examination of these interviews suggest that some interviews cover environmental and nuclear safety rules and regulations, from lab to federal levels. They possibly cover land use regulation, and jurisdictional questions regarding tribal lands. This is a robust collection, and a broader survey is required to take full stock of its regulatory richness.

Repository: University of Nevada at Las Vegas

Interview dates: 2003 – 2008

Digital access: Full transcripts available online; limited audio and video clips available online.


Florida Growth Management Oral History Collection

Project description: This project documents issues involved in growth management in Florida, particularly as they relate to planned community design and the environment. Interviewees include a banker, a professor of architecture, lobbyists, and a land developer.

Regulatory significance: These interviews cover a range of regulatory topics related to growth management and the environment, particularly water quality and beach erosion.

RepositoryUniversity of Florida

Interview dates: ~2000

Digital access: Transcripts are available online for four of these interviews. One interview is only available as an audio file.

Physical access: For access to all transcripts and audio, visit Pugh Hall at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.


Everglades Oral History Collection

Project description: This project documents issues involved in the restoration of the Everglades. Discussion topics center on influence of and coordination between environmental groups, lobbying by environmental groups, pesticides and mercury levels, water conservation, growth management, relationship between National Park Service and Army Corps of Engineers, Everglades Forever Act, Save Our Everglades, use of aquatic crops, drought and flood conditions, role of scientists in restoration, obstacles to restoration, sugar industry, various taxes, comprehensive plans and task forces, public education, aquifer storage and recovery, and lessons learned. [Description from finding aid]

Regulatory significance: This collection provides rich insight into environmental regulation, particularly the regulation of water, chemicals, and run-off from agriculture and land development.

RepositoryUniversity of Florida

Interview dates: 2001 – 2002

Digital access: Transcripts are available online. Audio for at least one interview is as well.

Physical access: For access to all transcripts and audio, visit Pugh Hall at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.


Florida Water Management

Project description: The St. John’s River Project interviews focus on “ranching families in the greater Orlando area.” However, a broader, ongoing project has grown out of this to “conduct oral history interviews relating to the history of Florida’s water management districts.”

Regulatory significance: This collection sheds light on the creation and operation of water management districts in Florida. According to the Florida Department of State, water management districts “are authorized to administer flood protection programs and to perform technical investigations into water resources. The districts are also authorized to develop water management plans for water shortages in times of drought and to acquire and manage lands for water management purposes under the Save Our Rivers program. Regulatory programs delegated to the districts include programs to manage the consumptive use of water, aquifer recharge, well construction and surface water management.”

RepositoryUniversity of Florida

Interview dates: 2003 – 2006

Digital access: Transcripts are available online for 17 interviews on water management.

Physical access: For access to all transcripts and audio, visit Pugh Hall at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.


Environmental Activism in Los Angeles

Project description: This collection consists of 19 interviews conducted from the 1970s to the present documenting environmental activism in the Los Angeles area.  Most interviewees were founders or “major participants” in important regional environmental organizations.

Regulatory significance: Interviews touch on both local and federal regulations and provide insight into the development and activities of local environmental groups and national advocacy organizations with substantial presence in the LA area (especially the American Lung Association). These groups’ efforts to influence regulatory policy and participate in negotiated rule making processes are key to several interviews in the project.

RepositoryUniversity of California – Los Angeles

Interview dates: 2006 – 2009

Digital access: Transcripts and audio for these interviews are available online.

Physical access: For access to all transcripts and audio, visit UCLA’s Charles E. Young Research Library Department of Special Collections.


Ronald Reagan Gubernatorial Era

Project description: This is the catch all for interviews housed at the Regional Oral History Office (ROHO) at UC – Berkeley related to Ronald Reagan’s gubernatorial administration from 1967 – 1975. ROHO also lists relevant interviews housed at other California repositories.

Regulatory significance: Interviews cover a variety of regulatory topics, including consumer affairs, financial regulation, health care, and farm labor conditions.

RepositoryUniversity of California – Berkeley

Interview dates: 1980 – 1989

Digital access: Transcripts for interviews housed at ROHO are available online.

Physical access: For access to all transcripts and audio, visit the Bancroft Library at UC-Berkeley, California.


Interviews on California Water Resources

Project description: This is the catch all for interviews housed at the Regional Oral History Office (ROHO) at UC – Berkeley related to water resources in California. Most of the interviews are with government officials, politicians, conservationists, and academics.

Regulatory significance: These interviews deal in depth with regulatory strategies to conserve water and improve water quality across the 20th century. Interviewees include managers of the Metropolitan Water District, the Department of Water Resources, and various policy entrepreneurs.

RepositoryUniversity of California – Berkeley

Interview dates: 1957 – present

Digital access: Transcripts for these interviews are available online.

Physical access: For access to all transcripts and audio, visit the Bancroft Library at UC-Berkeley, California.


Interviews on Business History

Project description: This is the catch all for business history interviews housed at the Regional Oral History Office at UC – Berkeley. These are interviews with major West Coast players in a wide variety of industries and business sectors: textiles, shipping, banking, agriculture, import-export businesses, etc. Most of the interviews are extensive life histories and transcripts run to hundreds of pages.

Regulatory significance: A large swath of these interviews at least touch on regulatory issues related to the specific industries that the interviewees worked in. This is a very rich collection for exploring the perspective of business on government regulation. Of particular note on financial regulation is an interview with Walter E. Hoadley, former Federal Reserve system director.

Repository: University of California – Berkeley

Interview dates: 1955 – present

Digital access: Transcripts for these interviews are available online.

Physical access: For access to all transcripts and audio, visit the Bancroft Library at UC-Berkeley, California.


Soil Conservation Service Oral History Collection

Project description: These interviews were conducted in 1981 by the official historian of the Soil Conservation Service, Douglas Helms. The interviews were with “long-time employees,” some of which joined the SCS at its inception in 1935. Employees worked across the country, ranging from Oregon to Alabama.

Regulatory significance: Topics include: National Environmental Policy Act, watershed management, the work of the office of the administrator of the Soil Conservation Service, soil classification system, ways of achieving farmer participation in conservation programs, Civilian Conservation Corps, Great Plains Conservation Program, Strip Mine Commission, forest management, and relationships between SCS and Congress and state governments.

Repository: Iowa State University

Interview dates: 1981

Digital access: No online transcripts or audio.

Physical access: For transcripts and audio, visit the special collections department at Iowa State University.