Under Faculty Co-Director Ann Carlson’s direction, the Emmett Institute is leading the Public Utilities Commission Clean Energy Policy Collaborative Project—a multi-year, cross-university project designed to improve states’ energy policies by analyzing interactions between climate regulatory efforts and state Public Utility Commissions (PUCs) nationwide. PUCS regulate local energy service providers, and may be able to help shape energy policies that will determine our future economy and greenhouse gas emissions trajectory.
The Collaborative engages in an empirically-grounded comparative benchmarking project to assess state PUC laws, policies, administrative structures, political dynamics and actions. The goal is to determine why some PUCs are economic, technology and regulatory innovators while others remain committed to a traditional regulatory structure with little innovation. The results of our research should provide invaluable information for policymakers and future researchers about how and whether PUCs can help transition the country toward clean energy development and reduced reliance on carbon-based energy.