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Short Circuiting PolicyInterest Groups and the Battle Over Clean Energy and Climate Policy in the American States$
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Leah Cardamore Stokes

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190074258

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190074258.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 January 2022

Retrenchment by a Thousand Cuts

Retrenchment by a Thousand Cuts

Koch Industries and Allies Drive Polarization on Clean Energy in Kansas

(p.141) 6 Retrenchment by a Thousand Cuts
Short Circuiting Policy

Leah Cardamore Stokes

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 explores a case of clean energy retrenchment by a thousand cuts. Kansas first implemented a clean energy law in 2009. The state seemed poised to withstand retrenchment of the renewable portfolio standard due to strong growth in the wind energy industry. However, opponents returned to attack the law year after year and eventually wore down the advocates. Unable to directly overturn the law through the legislature, opponents—including Koch Industries and their allied Americans for Prosperity—worked to weaken support for the policy. They backed politicians in primaries and appointments that were anti-renewables, and they funded astroturfing campaigns. Advocates responded by organizing the public, but they were less politically influential— particularly after the Republican Party made supporting the clean energy rollback a requirement for election funding. Despite the established wind energy industry backing pro-renewable Republicans in primaries, the fossil fuel opponents were eventually able to retrench the law.

Keywords:   Kansas energy policy, Koch Industries, wind energy policy, renewable portfolio standard, astroturfing, Americans for Prosperity

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