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Following in Footsteps or Marching Alone?

How Institutional Differences Influence Renewable Energy Policy

Subjects: Political Science, Public Policy, American Politics
Paperback : 9780472055821, 296 pages, 11 figures, 26 tables, 6 x 9, February 2023
Hardcover : 9780472075829, 296 pages, 11 figures, 26 tables, 6 x 9, February 2023
Open Access : 9780472903153, 296 pages, 11 figures, 26 tables, 6 x 9, February 2023

This book is available in an open access edition thanks to TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem) and the generous support of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries. Learn more at the TOME website, available at: openmonographs.org.
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Renewable energy policies and the politics of resource management

Table of contents

List of Tables
List of Figures
List of Lists
I. Introduction:                                        
II. Renewable Portfolio Standards in the U.S. States                        
III. Identifying Invention in State Sub-Policy                            
IV. Situating Legislative and Regulatory RPS Invention in Broader Context        
V. Liberal Ideology and Legislative Invention in Renewable Energy Policy        
VI. Regulatory Invention: A Case for Disruption                        
VII. Case Studies of Legislative and Regulatory RPS Invention                
VIII. Extending the Legislative Analysis to Anti-Abortion Policy                
IX. Conclusion                                        


In recent years, the federal government’s increasing inability to address major societal challenges has arguably hampered America’s commitment to renewable energy initiatives. Individual U.S. states have stepped into this void and adopted their own policies, leading some to believe that the states can propel America’s renewable energy industry forward. However, we know little about how legislative and regulatory dynamics within America’s states might accelerate or hinder renewable energy policy creation. 
In Following in Footsteps or Marching Alone?, Srinivas Parinandi explores how states have devised their own novel policies, and how the political workings of legislatures and public utilities commissions have impacted state renewable energy policy design. Through the meticulous study of nearly three decades of state-level renewable energy policy-making, he finds that their creation is primarily driven by legislatures, and that ideologically liberal legislatures largely push the envelope. The book suggests that having a predominantly state-driven renewable energy effort can lead to uneven and patchwork-based policy development outcomes, and a possible solution is to try to more successfully federalize these issues. Parinandi urges readers, scholars, and policy practitioners to consider whether a state-led effort is adequate enough to handle the task of building momentum for renewable energy in one of the world’s largest electricity markets.

Srinivas Parinandi is Assistant Professor in Political Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

“This book poses a new question in the innovation literature—what predicts invention rather than borrowing—and provides a rigorous test in the important policy realm of renewable energy policy standards. It makes strong contributions to the literature on state politics, on environmental politics, and on policy innovation.”

—Thad Kousser, University of California, San Diego

- Thad Kousser

“This innovative and exciting book makes a significant intellectual contribution to the study of policy diffusion among the American states. It is engaging, accessible, and extraordinarily compelling.”

—Andrew Karch, University of Minnesota

- Andrew Karch

“Parinandi highlights a fundamental missing piece of the policy diffusion puzzle—where do innovations come from in the first place? He illustrates how to identify and understand innovators and their policy choices. The book is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand whether and when states can solve pressing policy problems.”
—Craig Volden, University of Virginia

- Craig Volden

“This book offers a valuable contribution to the literature on both policy diffusion and state renewable energy policies in the context of federalism. It’s incredibly well researched, and a great read for scholars and practitioners alike.”
—Sanya Carley, Indiana University

- Sanya Carley

"Srinivas C. Parinandi’s Following in Footsteps or Marching Alone? is an important contribution to political science literatures on state-level policy diffusion, climate, and renewable energy policymaking, and of course, American federalism."

- Joshua A. Basseches