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

Joshua P. Fershee, University of North Dakota

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Original publication: 35 WM. & MARY ENVTL. L. & POL’Y REV. 53 (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.

Suggested Citation

Joshua P. Fershee. "When Prayer Trumps Politics: The Politics and Demographics of Renewable Portfolio Standards" William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review 35.1 (2010): 53-134.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/joshua_fershee/7