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Narrative Policy Framework, cap-and-trade, policy narratives, Washington, legislature, advocacy coalitions


When a cap-and-trade bill was introduced to the Washington legislature in 2009, it was met with staunch opposition from a coalition of businesses and industry leaders. In the end, the opposing side won when cap-and-trade legislation was removed from the bill. My goal was to better understand if there were differences in how the Pro and Con Coalitions presented policy narratives, and how they may have influenced the policy outcome. Using the Narrative Policy Framework, I analyzed public testimony produced by both coalitions and examined the use of narrative elements, narrative strategies, and policy beliefs between and within the coalitions. My results yielded statistically significant intercoalitional differences in narrative elements and policy beliefs, and revealed that the winning coalition’s narratives were more cohesive. This work contributes further evidence that policy narratives created actors and stakeholders can indeed influence decision makers and thus, policy realities. In order to apply this work and previous NPF studies to influencing policy realities, future NPF work at the micro level should focus in on how effectively policy narratives shape elected officials’ decisions.