Panel: Policy Change in Multilevel Governance: A Comparative Perspective on Environmental and Energy Policy
(Natural Resource Security, Energy and Environmental Policy)

Friday, November 3, 2017: 3:15 PM-4:45 PM
New Orleans (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Tian Tang, Florida State University
Panel Chairs:  Anthony Liu, Indiana University
Discussants:  Hongtao Yi, The Ohio State University

Reforming China’s Power Generation Dispatch Rule: Why Is Merging Provincial Dispatch Zones Inherently Challenging Yet Absolutely Necessary?
Zichao Yu1, Mun Sing Ho2 and Zhongmin Wang2, (1)Indiana University, (2)Resources for the Future

Environmental and energy issues oftentimes have local and transboundary impacts, requiring involvement of various governing bodies at different levels. Horizontally, the adoption and stringency of environmental and energy policies in one jurisdiction can affect the behaviors of residents and firms in neighboring jurisdictions, which can lead to policy spillovers. Vertically, the interactions between central and local governments influence the policy making process at each regulatory level. Previous studies conceptually recognize that such horizontal and vertical interactions occur simultaneously. Unpacking how these interactions operate and influence each other with empirical evidence will further enhance our understanding of complex, multilevel governance in the environmental and energy policy process.

This panel explores both the horizontal and vertical aspects of multilevel governance in two major carbon emitters with very distinct regime types: China and US. The first two papers investigate how horizontal interaction between electricity markets can be managed by a third party to add a certain degree of centralization at the regional level. Using panel data and spatially weighted policy measures, the first paper examines cross-state trade of renewable energy certificates and regional integration via ISO/RTO channels for their impact on state level renewable energy policy change in the US. The second paper assesses the current limitations of China’s provincially fragmented electricity market and suggests ways to improve the decentralized power market operation by adopting regionally coordinated power markets. This piece employs process tracing and comparative case studies of three experimental regional markets in China. The third and fourth papers evaluate vertical interactions in environmental and energy policies from different perspectives. The third paper studies how central-local governments influence the horizontal interaction within and between local governments by looking at environmental information disclosure and air pollution policy of Chinese local governments. This paper considers both between-actor and between-policy interactions in China. The last paper also focuses on the vertical interaction from both the bottom-up and top-down perspectives by investigating impacts of consumer pressure, networks, utility structure, and state policies on smart meter adoption in the US. This piece exploits sub-state variation in smart meter deployment to focus on the impact of consumer pressure within and across utility and state policies for smart meter deployment.

All four papers in this panel attempt to unpack and map vertical and horizontal interactions for environmental and energy policies that operate under multilevel governance. This panel includes multiple methods for measuring and addressing various vertical and horizontal interactions common to environmental and energy governance. Furthermore, by looking at two countries with distinctive regime types, the findings from these papers shed light on multilevel governance in different political structures, which is informative for policymakers and advisers in emerging and developed countries and international organizations.