When Prayer Trumps Politics: The Politics and Demographics of Renewable Portfolio Standards
Joshua P. Fershee
West Virginia University - College of Law
July 1, 2010
William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review, Vol. 35, No. 1, 2010
This Article seeks to understand who supports renewable energy mandates (and why) by analyzing a variety trends found in political and socio-economic data by state, as well as by state renewable energy opportunities (or the lack of such opportunities). The review finds little shocking in the way of politics: Democratic states tend to favor mandates and Republican states tend not to have mandates. Somewhat surprisingly, the correlations among states with wind and solar resources (as well as most of the demographic data) ranged from limited to inconclusive. In religion, however, a strong trend developed. The states with higher Catholic populations strongly favored renewable energy mandates, and the states with higher non-Catholic Christian populations almost uniformly shunned such mandates.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 82
Keywords: Renewable Energy, RES, RPS, Alternative Energy, Demographics, Catholic, Religion
JEL Classification: Q4, Q42, Q48, D72Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: January 22, 2011 ; Last revised: April 25, 2012
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