When Prayer Trumps Politics: The Politics and Demographics of Renewable Portfolio Standards

82 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2011 Last revised: 25 Apr 2012

Joshua P. Fershee

West Virginia University - College of Law

Date Written: July 1, 2010

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Renewable Energy, RES, RPS, Alternative Energy, Demographics, Catholic, Religion

JEL Classification: Q4, Q42, Q48, D72

Suggested Citation

Fershee, Joshua P., When Prayer Trumps Politics: The Politics and Demographics of Renewable Portfolio Standards (July 1, 2010). William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review, Vol. 35, No. 1, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1745535

Joshua Paul Fershee (Contact Author)

West Virginia University - College of Law ( email )

Box 6130
Morgantown, WV West Virginia 26506
United States
304-293-2868 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.wvu.edu/faculty/full_time_faculty/joshua-p-fershee

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