Conventional thinking is that policy supports the advancement of clean energy gradually and progressively, with hard-won gains setting up further success over time. And sometimes, it does play out this way. But sometimes it doesn’t, too. Our guest in this episode, Dr. Leah Stokes of UC Santa Barbara, describes the policymaking around energy transition as a matter of “organized combat” between clean energy advocates and incumbents in the utility and fossil fuel sectors — a process of combat which produces winners and losers. And rather than be shy about that, she argues, advocates for climate action and energy transition need to learn from their opponents and get much more organized and serious about winning policy battles.
In this two-hour interview, we talk through the history of clean energy policymaking, and how it was rolled back or thwarted, in four U.S. states. Step by step and case by case, we can learn from her original research what the winning tactics are, and how to lock in victories when we win them. This episode is critical listening for anyone involved in policymaking, regulatory interventions, crafting legislation, or activism.
Dr. Leah Stokes is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and affiliated with the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and the Environmental Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). She works on energy, climate and environmental politics. Within American politics, her work focuses on representation and public opinion; voting behavior; and public policy, particularly at the state level. Within environmental politics, she researches climate change, renewable energy, water and chemicals policy. Prior to academia, she worked at the Parliament of Canada and Resources for the Future.
On Twitter: @leahstokes
On the Web: https://www.leahstokes.com/
Recording date: April 6, 2020
Air date: May 13, 2020
Geek rating: 3