Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Special Majors

Reader 1

Mary Evans

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© 2020 Spencer C Burget


I compare strategies for equity in state-level clean energy standards across the United States. I avoid adopting an explicit definition of equity because I do not attempt to evaluate the impacts of these policies. Rather, I analyze how different states are forging their own definitions of equity within their clean energy policy. Specifically, I present case studies of four early adopters that have championed equity in their clean energy transition. First, New Mexico offers a unique strategy for protecting displaced fossil fuel workers through power plant securitization. Next, California’s robust policy context demonstrates how to minimize the financial impact of clean energy to ratepayers. Finally, New York and Washington each use dramatically different mechanisms to integrate reparational equity into the core of their clean energy policy. While it is still too early to quantitatively analyze the distributional impact of these policies, this case study approach provides useful insights into which constituencies states are prioritizing in the transition to clean energy and what strategies states are using to achieve equitable outcomes. Furthermore, these case studies reveal notable differences in states’ interpretations of equity in the context clean energy. I find that these differences reflect states’ needs to balance their cultural and political values with economic realities.

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Energy Policy Commons