Robert E. Forbis, Jr., is a visiting assistant professor of political science and the Master of Public Administration Program (MPA). He teaches courses on environmental politics and policy, environmental administration, environmental law and regulation, public lands and resource law and policy, energy law and policy, sustainability policy, and environmental justice.
Forbis’ research focus is an ongoing exploration of the energy development and environmental protection policy nexus. His research specifically addresses political conflicts derived from the “fracking” process of coalbed methane natural gas (CBM) development as well as other forms of domestic energy development initiatives. His dissertation drew upon policy subsystem theory to identify conditions under which stakeholders within the Bureau of Land Management’s policymaking environment strategically responded to the political conflict that emerged from the modern-day federal expansion of CBM energy development in the states of the Rocky Mountain West.
Forbis is author of "Drill, Baby, Drill: An Analysis of How Energy Development Displaced Ranching’s Dominance Over the BLM’s Subgovernment Policymaking Environment," forthcoming from the University of Utah Press. He is co-editor of "International Energy Politics and Policy for the 21st Century," forthcoming Westview Press. Dr. Forbis is currently developing a book manuscript devoted to an analysis of the energy industry’s ability to capture the Minerals Management Service (MMS) and its effect(s) on the British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Forbis is the author and co-author of a variety of forthcoming journal articles: “Revisiting the Tragedy-Of-The-Commons: The Collective Effects of Federal Exemptions for Coal-Bed Methane Development Activities” (University of Idaho Law Review; Symposium Edition); “Fractured Politics: Disparate Political Responses to Marcellus Shale Energy Development in Pennsylvania and New York” (Special Issue on Marcellus Shale in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences); and “Sunlight and Wind and Geothermal Heat! Oh, my!: Alternative Energy Development's Potential to Disrupt the Multiple-Use Doctrine” (Review of Policy Research).
Prior to his arrival at Texas Tech, Forbis was an assistant professor at Idaho State University. He earned his doctorate in political science from the University of Utah, Master of Public Administration from the University of Utah, and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas-Austin.