Business actors, political resistance, and strategies for policymakers

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    Existing energy policies remain well short of achieving a rapid transformation to a low carbon system of energy supply. One of the principal reasons has been political resistance from incumbent fossil fuel industries. While numerous studies have demonstrated the influence of business actors across multiple policy domains, less work has examined the behaviour of business actors in individual energy-centric industries, namely the oil, gas, coal, utility and renewable industries. Accordingly, this paper examines the role of business actors in the US energy sector and asks what should policymakers do? Drawing on new empirical data, primarily semi-structured interviewers with business actors across the US energy sector, this paper argues that there are specific strategies policymakers can employ to help overcome the resistance from incumbent fossil fuel industries. Specifically these are to: entrench and build existing interests via targeted sector specific policies; exploit inter-industry and intra-industry divisions; and shift existing interests with policies that induce changes in industry investment and structure.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)583-592pp
    JournalEnergy Policy
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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