Emory Law Journal


Hari M. Osofsky


Whether the topic is the Paris Agreement on climate change, greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, the Keystone XL pipeline, hydraulic fracturing, offshore drilling, or renewable energy, much of the U.S. policy dialogue about energy and climate change is deeply partisan. This Article provides a novel analysis of how to make progress on energy and climate change issues by translating this emerging psychological research into a framework for action. It proposes two interconnected strategies¿ substantive and structural¿for moving past imbedded partisanship and political dysfunction. Substantively, the Article argues for refocusing regulatory efforts on areas where a greater degree of consensus may be possible, such as economic development and disaster resilience. Structurally, it proposes a shift to arenas that are less gridlocked by energy partisanship than the legislative branch of the federal government, such as other branches of the federal government, state and local levels, and corporate and private sector actors. By drawing on case studies and empirical data, including interviews with key stakeholders, the Article illustrates possibilities for progress under this framework.