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Short Circuiting Policy Interest Groups and the Battle Over Clean Energy and Climate Policy in the American States

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  • Format: eBook
  • Copyright: 2020-04-24
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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In 1999, Texas passed a landmark clean energy law, beginning a groundswell of new policies that promised to make the US a world leader in renewable energy. As Leah Stokes shows in Short Circuiting Policy, however, that policy did not lead to momentum in Texas, which failed to implement its solar laws or clean up its electricity system. Examining clean energy laws in Texas, Kansas, Arizona, and Ohio over a thirty-year time frame, Stokes argues that organized combat between advocate and opponent interest groups is central to explaining why states are not on track to address the climate crisis. She tells the political history of our energy institutions, explaining how fossil fuel companies and electric utilities have promoted climate denial and delay. Stokes further explains the limits of policy feedback theory, showing the ways that interest groups drive retrenchment through lobbying, public opinion, political parties and the courts. More than a history of renewable energy policy in modern America, Short Circuiting Policy offers a bold new argument about how the policy process works, and why seeming victories can turn into losses when the opposition has enough resources to roll back laws.

Author Biography

Leah Cardamore Stokes is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California Santa Barbara. Her research and writing on climate change and energy policy has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, as well as numerous scholarly journals.

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
List of Figures
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. When New Policies Fail to Create a New Politics
Chapter 3. An Institutional History of Electricity Politics and Climate Inaction
Chapter 4. Policy Feedback: Networked and Influential Advocates Use the Public to Drive Clean Energy Leadership in Texas
Chapter 5. A Direct Line to Legislators and Regulators: Fossil Fuel Corporations and the Limitations of Texas's Renewable Energy Laws
Chapter 6. Retrenchment by a Thousand Cuts: Fossil Fuel Opponents Drive Polarization on Clean Energy in Kansas
Chapter 7. Regulatory Capture: Electric Utilities Retrench Arizona's Net Metering Laws
Chapter 8. When the Fog of Enactment Lifts: Late Action brings Rapid Retrenchment of Ohio's Renewable Energy Laws
Chapter 9. Conclusion
Appendix:List of Interviews

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