Chapter 9, the book’s conclusion, charts a path forward both theoretically and empirically. It shows how using a more complex model of policy feedback enables a better understanding of the conditions under which retrenchment is likely. This chapter makes the case that understanding organized combat between policy advocates and opponents is crucial to explaining policy change. It also shows how advocates and states can get climate policy back on track, reviewing more hopeful recent developments in state clean energy laws. For too long, a small set of interest groups has captured the regulatory process—the very mechanism that is supposed to serve and protect the public interest. They have used their power to imperil the health and well-being of all people on the planet. To address climate change, policy advocates need to win policy conflicts more often. Clean energy advocates must learn from their opponents’ success in retrenching policy.
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