Ecosystems of meaning : a case study of subnational networks and climate change legislation

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jenny Berggren (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Corey Johnson

Abstract: North Carolina’s experiences over the last twenty years epitomize ongoing ambivalence over clean energy policy in Southeastern states. In 2007, under an era of one-party state governance, S.B. 3 provided for the first Renewable Portfolio Standard in the Southeast and gave hopeful advocates a reason to expect accelerating transformation of the state utility landscape. However, in 2010, both state chambers, though not the governorship, flipped, affirming the priorities of newly energized national partisan and business groups in state elections. A very modest clean energy bill, passed in 2017 under such split-state leadership, seemed a harbinger of a less progressive era. Nevertheless, a bill directing the state to cut emissions from power production by 70% by 2030 passed in 2021; the same bill also requires carbon neutrality in power production by 2050. How different are the organizational landscapes through which these pieces of legislation came about? More importantly for clean energy efforts throughout the state, how significant was that historical switch in legislative leadership in 2010? Through interviews and archival research, I describe and compare the two landscapes, finding that a widespread acknowledgement of the need for cleaner sources of energy, the power of the office of the state executive, and increasing clean energy entrepreneurship throughout the state provided a way forward. Results may be consequential, especially for other Southern states facing the decarbonization revolution with monopoly utilities systems intact.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2024
Climate change, North Carolina, Regime, State
Climatic changes $x Law and legislation $z North Carolina
Clean energy industries $x Law and legislation $z North Carolina
Renewable energy sources $x Law and legislation $z North Carolina

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