My current book project and related research examines the politics of state-level renewable energy policymaking in eight states, varying in partisanship, utility and electricity market structure, and energy economy.
Seeking to understand how political economy shapes interest group preferences and ultimately policy outcomes, my research draws on legislative and regulatory texts, thousands of pages of archival documents, and hundreds of "policy-focused" interviews with key actors including state legislators and their staff, executive branch commissioners and their staff, environmental advocates, and lobbyists representing a wide range of business interests with a financial stake in these policies.
I find that variation in the environmental and distributive quality of these policies is explained by the ways in which business preferences inform policy design, with the preferences of investor-owned utilities playing the most pivotal and variable role.
In other work, with collaborators, I examine the policy preferences of interest groups more broadly at the state level, using big data— specifically lobbying disclosures and legislative testimony.
I am also involved in a public opinion survey on attitudes toward climate and energy policy in Virginia, a major bellwether state when it comes to climate policy expansion.
I have also been part of a major project, led by Heather Schoenfeld and Michael Campbell, on variation in the pace of reform when it comes to state-level criminal justice and incarceration policies.
Other research interests include the politics of electricity infrastructure that crosses political/jurisdictional boundaries, both sub-national and national, and the tension between market-based and justice-based approaches to climate change mitigation policies.
I am in the early stages of a collaborative project examining the potential existence of an "equity-efficiency tradeoff" when it comes to climate change mitigation policy in various sectors and the degree to which there may be solutions that can achieve both. This project takes an international approach, seeking to understand the important factors across both countries and economic/emissions sectors.