Skip to main content

Homsy, George. (2015). "Powering sustainability: Municipal utilities and local government policymaking." Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy: 0(0): 1-19.

Sustainability policymaking presents numerous challenges to local governments. Municipal leaders, especially in smaller cities and towns, report that they lack the fiscal capacity and/or technical expertise to adopt many environmental protection policies. This paper investigates whether the more than 2000 municipally owned utilities in the United States have the potential to mitigate those problems. Data from two surveys of USA local governments (n¼861), modeled in a pair of negative binomial regressions, find a positive correlation between those cities with municipal power companies and those with an increased number of community-wide sustainable energy policies. Follow-up interviews with officials reveal the potential mechanisms driving sustainability by local governments that own power companies. These mechanisms are the increased capacity that publicly owned utilities provide by virtue of income generated and access to energy-specific grants as well as the local nature of their operations, which allows a better fit of sustainable energy measures to local circumstances.

If you would like a copy of this publication, please email mew15 'at' and include the name of the publication.

Subject: Sustainability