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American Petroleum Institute has greater access than the Natural Resources Defense Council on the issue of natural gas development.

   Write a minimum 5 page paper taking a position either for or against the following statement:

American Petroleum Institute has greater access than the Natural Resources Defense Council on the issue of natural gas development.


The goal of this exercise is to argue for or against the above statement using the theory provided by Hansen.


 Using the congressional hearing, the American Petroleum Institute and Natural Resource Defense Councils’ home pages, and other resources find information that describes the roles of the two interest groups in the issue of natural gas development. Information that will help you is as follows: 1) stated goals of the organization, 2) membership, 3) monetary and information resources, 4) geographic distribution of membership, 5) organization of membership and leadership, and 6)evidence of their policy positions used by Congress or Government agencies.

2.  The paper should describe their positions on the issue in a few paragraphs.

3. Using Hansen’s theory of access, argue for your position by explaining how either the American Petroleum Institute or the Natural Resource Defense Council meets or does not meet the conditions of access.  These conditions are competitive advantage consisting of cost-efficiency, and effectiveness, and recurrence. 

4.  Please provide references in your paper by giving me the author’s name and page number in parentheses at the end of the section in which you used the reference (e.g. Stone, 92) .  When you use outside resources, please include a reference page with bibliographical information (author, year, title, publishing information, and page numbers).

Contact me if you have any questions.




1.Write an introductory paragraph that takes a firm position on the statement  and then describes the  goals and structure of the paper.

2.Define the issue

3. Identify the interest group, describe its membership, resources, and positions on the issue

4. Explain how the group either meets or does not meet the conditions for access (competitive advantage = cost-efficiency + effectiveness, recurrence)

5. Make some future predictions about access based on Hansen’s concepts. 

Sample Introductory Paragraph:

Your introductory paragraph should look very similar to the following:

US reliance on foreign sources of energy has led to calls to develop domestic natural gas resources but some members of the public worry that a push to develop domestic resources will lead to problems. Some experts argue that interest groups’ access to the US Congress hampers its ability to address such problems.  (Brief opening statement).  In this paper, I agree (or disagree) with the premise that the American Petroleum Institute  has greater access than the Natural Resources Defense Council on the issue of domestic gas development (your position for or against).  Using Hansen’s theory of access, the paper supports the premise in four ways: first, it summarizes the two interest groups positions on the issue; second, it briefly describes the membership and resources of both groups; third, it analyzes the cost-efficiency and effectiveness of both groups; and fourth it addresses the topic of recurrence. The evidence from this discussion supports the idea that the American petroleum Institue has (or does not have) a competitive advantage over the Natural Resource Defense Council thus supporting (or not) the premise of the paper(reiterate the goal of the paper).



The rest of the paper follows the structure set out in the introductory paragraph.


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