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88 U. Colo. L. Rev. 571 (2017)
Clean Electrification

handle is hein.journals/ucollr88 and id is 607 raw text is: 


                       SHELLEY   WELTON*

     To  combat  climate  change,  many   leading  states have
     adopted the aim  of creating a participatory grid. In this
     new model, electricity is priced based on time of consumption
     and carbon content, and consumers are encouraged to adjust
     their behavior and  adopt  new   technologies to maintain
     affordable electricity. Although a more participatory grid is
     an  important   component   of  lowering  greenhouse  gas
     emissions, it also raises a new  problem  of clean  energy
     justice: utilities and consumer advocates claim that such
     policies unjustly benefit the rich at the expense of the poor,
     given the type of consumer  best able to participate in the
     grid. These arguments  pitting clean energy against equity
     often prove persuasive  to  energy regulators  considering
     whether to adopt or maintain clean energy policies.

     But these arguments fail to seriously engage the question of
     how  energy   law's historical  equity norms   should   be
     interpreted and applied in the era of climate change. This
     Article  concludes   that   there   are   legitimate  and
     underappreciated  equity concerns  with  the participatory
     grid, given that participation in the grid is likely to stratify
     along income  lines. However, these equity concerns do not
     justify slowing progress on climate change, given the extreme
     inequities raised  by  that  problem   itself. Fortunately,
     however, there is a longstanding  tradition of attention to
     equity concerns within  electricity law that paves  a way
     forward.  Throughout    the  twentieth-century project  of

* Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina School of Law; Ph.D.
Candidate in Law, Yale Law School. Thanks to Doug Kysar, Dan Esty, Bill
Eskridge, Al Klevorick, Ann Carlson, William Boyd, Katrina Wyman, David
Spence, Jedediah Purdy, Nick Parrillo, Ann Alstott, Alice Kaswan, Kay Jowers,
and participants in the 2015 Colorado-Duke Climate Law Works-in-Progress
Symposium, UCLA  Law School's Climate Change Law Seminar, the PUC Clean
Energy Collaborative Fall 2015 Workshop, Duke University's New Directions in
the Analysis of Environmental Justice Workshop of August 2016, the Yale Law
School Ph.D. Seminar, and Yale's Justice in Taxation Seminar for valuable
comments on various drafts. All errors are decidedly my own.

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