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Organized Elite Power and Clean Energy: A Study of Negative Policy Experimentations with Renewable Portfolio Standards

Published Date September 06, 2021
Research Topic
Research Type
Authors Hongtao Yi

Abstract

Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) is one of the most widely adopted clean energy policies in the U.S. However, organized elite power groups, backed by ample political and economic resources, have been known to lead RPS termination efforts. In the context of state renewable energy politics, organized elite power includes legislators affiliated with American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and anti-renewable energy business groups. Focusing on the roles of organized elite power, this study investigates the drivers of the formulation of RPS rollback (goal freeze) and termination bills, which we refer to collectively as negative policy experimentations. We find that RPS termination attempts are explained by the presence of ALEC legislators and anti-renewable energy business groups, whereas RPS goal freeze bills are better explained by conditions of policy operations. This study contributes to the policy process theory by providing critical insights into the post adoption decisions, including policy termination and rollback legislations, with a focus on the role of organized elite power.

Jang, Sojin, Hongtao Yi. 2022. Organized Elite Power and Clean Energy: A Study of Negative Policy Experimentations with Renewable Portfolio Standards. Review of Policy Research. 39(1), 8-31.