Assistant Professor, in the Department of Political Science, the Environmental Studies Department and the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management,   University of California, Santa Barbara

Leah Stokes

Interviewer: David Spence, Interview Date: June 4, 2019

Keywords: PURPA, RPS, Cap and Trade


“In order to get prices right and the technology in place you need to get the policy in place.  And in order to get the policy, you need to look at the politics.”

“What you need to be doing [early in technology transitions] is to nurture new technologies. You need to be providing subsidies .. so that they can get to a scale where they can start to do battle with incumbent technologies.”

“In the middle part of the curve where the fight is starting to happen [between new entrants and powerful incumbents] … we can start to think about removing fossil fuel subsidies, a carbon tax, or cap and trade programs. … I think it’s about thinking about what is politically viable given the scale of new entrants vs incumbents over time, and thinking about the policy packages from a sequencing perspective, that makes sense.”

Dr. Leah Stokes’ research focuses on American politics, and straddles public policy and political behavior.  She earned her PhD in Public Policy in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning Environmental Policy & Planning group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a masters degree from MIT’s Political Science Department, an MPA in Environmental Science & Policy at the School of International & Public Affairs and the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and a BSc in Psychology and East Asian Studies from the University of Toronto.

To learn more about Leah Stokes, please visit her home page: HERE